ScotRail has today (September 1, 2015) unveiled the first of 40 new-look trains as part of a £14 million modernisation project.
It will roll out the revamped trains at a rate of one per month between now and April 2018 on routes across Scotland, including the Fife Circle Line.
ScotRail says the new 137-seater trains will deliver improved seating, better lighting, accessibility enhancements and at-seat power sockets.
The two-carriage Class 158 trains, whose interiors have been refurbished to include modern carpets, finishes and toilets, are painted in ScotRail’s ‘Saltire’ livery and will feature new CCTV systems and automated passenger-counting systems.
According to ScotRail, the fleet has been upgraded with Scotland’s scenic railways in mind and window seats offer panoramic views on the country’s most picturesque routes.
The first carriage will leave the depot tomorrow (September 2) and will be on the track ready for the opening day of the new Borders Railway.
Derek Mackay, minister for transport and islands, who watched as the finishing touches were applied to the first refurbished train, said: “We are investing record amounts in Scotland’s railways and, with passenger numbers increasing by more than six million last year, these refurbished trains will further improve the travel experience. I am also particularly pleased that, in the process, Scottish jobs are being supported with these improvement works delivered by workers at Knorr-Bremse RailServices’ depot here in Springburn.
“Passengers will soon see more of these refurbished trains rolling out on routes all over Scotland and, fittingly, the first carriages off the production line will start their journey as part of the historic Borders Railway launch, with all the benefits that will bring for the Borders, Midlothian and Edinburgh economy.”
ScotRail Alliance managing director Phil Verster said: “Completing the first refurbishment is a big moment for this exciting project, which I believe will make a real difference for passengers using Scotland’s railways.
“We’ve listened to customers, and that feedback is reflected in the upgrades being made. Seats are better aligned alongside windows, interiors are brighter and more modern, and people can charge phones and laptops during their journeys.”
The refurbishment project has been jointly managed by rolling stock operations company Porterbrook, with the work being carried out at the Knorr-Bremse RailServices’ Springburn facility in Glasgow where 14 extra staff were hired for the project.
Alex White, Porterbrook’s operations director, said: “This project shows what can be achieved in terms of passenger comfort features, environment and quality. Having the work done in Springburn gives us and the industry the chance to retain and even increase a qualified local workforce, which is so critical to the rail industry as a whole.”
Nick Fitzwater, managing director of Knorr-Bremse RailServices in the UK, said: “We are very proud to be involved in this major refurbishment project.
“Working closely with our customers Porterbrook and ScotRail Alliance in this way further supports our commitment to employment, growth and investment in the Springburn facility and to playing our part in supporting rail operations in Scotland.”
The new-look trains will be rolled out on the following routes:
– Inverness – Aberdeen/Kyle/Wick
– Glasgow Queen Street – Stirling/Dunblane/Alloa
– Glasgow Queen Street – Falkirk Grahamston
– Glasgow Queen Street – Anniesland via Maryhill
– Edinburgh – Dunblane/Perth/Glasgow Central via Shotts
– Edinburgh Waverley/Glasgow Queen Street – Perth/Dundee/Aberdeen/Inverness
– Fife Circle.