£475m of train improvements at ScotRail

ScotRail has announced a £475 million train improvement programme it said will deliver new trains, thousands of extra seats, at-seat power points and better wifi.

When the seven-year programme is completed, 75% of ScotRail’s train fleet will either be new or fully refurbished.

“This is the biggest improvement programme in ScotRail’s history,” said ScotRail Alliance managing director Phil Verster.

“This is an extraordinary programme of works that will give Scotland a railway of which we can be truly proud.

“I know that one of the biggest issues concerning our customers is busy trains. I hope, with the programme we are announcing today, people will see we are taking action.”

Verster said that during the next three years alone:

  • 180 train carriages will be added to the fleet — bringing the total to almost 1,000
  • Two-thirds of current ScotRail trains will be refurbished
  • 17,000 at-seat power points will be added to trains
  • 346 more trains will be equipped with free wifi
  • Seven Class 320 trains will be added to the fleet

“The Scottish Government wants to see more people choose to leave their car at home and make use of public transport,” said Transport minister Derek Mackay.

“That is why we are investing a record £5 billion in our rail network, including significant improvements to rolling stock, to ensure that infrastructure keeps pace with demand and that Scotland’s rail passengers are offered the very best value for money.”

Eversholt Rail will carry out the refurbishment work and provide the seven Class 320 trains, which will phased in to the ScotRail system from early 2016.

Then the first of 70 new Hitachi electric fleet will start to operate in autumn 2017 on the Edinburgh to Glasgow via Falkirk High line, with the rest being introduced across the Central Belt the following year.

All 21 of ScotRail’s Class 318 trains will be refurbished and upgraded. These trains run on Strathclyde routes linking Balloch/Milngavie/Dalmuir to Airdrie/Cumbernauld/Lanark/Larkhall via Glasgow Queen St and Glasgow Central’s low level.