Two-thirds of fleet will be refurbished by the end of 2018




Abellio ScotRail has set out full details of its plans to expand and refurbish its train fleet, which will see the fleet size increased by more than 20% and £475m spent on new and refurbished trains. The programme covers three quarters of the fleet.

The majority of the work will take place in the next two to three years. Phil Verster, managing director of the ScotRail alliance, said during this period the fleet size will increase by 180 vehicles bringing it close to 1,000 vehicles, and that two-thirds of the current fleet will be refurbished by the end of 2018. Over 17,000 at-seat power points will be added to trains and nearly 350 trains will be equipped with free Wi-Fi.

Verster said it amounted to “the biggest improvement programme in ScotRail’s history” and would provide shorter journey times and reduced carbon emissions as well as more seats and new onboard facilities.

“We are not just about running metal boxes up and down tracks. We want to connect people with jobs, business with customers and tourists with destinations. Our vision of Connecting Scotland is about using the railway to help our country to grow and prosper. The transformation of our fleet in the next few years will help deliver that,” he said.

ScotRail’s fleet investment began last year with the refurbishment of the first Class 158 trains for tourist routes and suburban routes in Glasgow and Edinburgh. The refurbishment of the 21 units in the Class 318 Strathclyde fleet is currently underway and includes provision for cycle storage and CCTV as well as Wi-Fi and power sockets.

The first additional vehicles will be seven refurbished Class 320 units to be introduced early this year. The first of ScotRail’s 70 Hitachi AT200 units will start operating on the Glasgow-Edinburgh route in late 2017 with the remainder allocated to the Central Belt in 2018.

ScotRail is also planning to operate an intercity quality service between Scotland’s seven cities from the second half of 2018 with 27 refurbished HSTs.


This article appears inside the latest issue of Passenger Transport.

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