Refurbished coaches go into service

Commuters offered more train seats as fares rise

Class 320 ScotRail trainScotRail passengers were today offered some compensation for a hike in rail fares by being promised more chance of a seat, power sockets and extra cycle space.

The first of a fleet of 213-seat refurbished trains are now running on cross-Glasgow services.

They will also be fitted with CCTV and Passenger Information systems. In addition, wifi will be rolled out across the fleet from next month.

Revamped trains will be introduced at a rate of one every few weeks between now and October 2016 on routes between Milngavie/Dalmuir – Motherwell/Larkhall/Cumbernauld via Glasgow Central Low Level. They may also run between Glasgow Central High Level and Lanark.

Three of the seven extra Class 320 trains are currently operating on these routes before their refurbishment takes place later this summer.

The refurbishment project is being jointly funded by ScotRail and train owner Eversholt Rail, which is managing this project. The work is being carried out at Wabtec Rail’s Doncaster facility.

The new trains were announced today following yesterday’s announcement that peak rail fares will rise by an inflation-busting 1.9%.

Transport Minister, Humza Yousaf, said: “This programme of refurbishments will bring better facilities, wheelchair spaces, accessible toilet and more seats when they begin to operate in and around Glasgow.”

He said the investment will help make rail travel “a more modern, comfortable and popular option” for the public.

“The current programme of train improvements are a key part of the Scottish Government’s £5 billion investment in Scotland’s railways and they are a great example of how this translates into tangible benefits for passengers,” he said.

ScotRail Alliance managing director, Phil Verster, said: “These excellent additions to our fleet generates more capacity – and ultimately more seats – for customers in the Strathclyde area, making rail travel a more appealing transport option.

“Customers will be able to charge their phones and laptops during their journeys, and can look forward to using free on-train wifi later this year.” 

In December 2015, ScotRail announced the start of their biggest ever train improvement programme, which will see 90% of its train fleet either new or fully refurbished.

As part of this, the first of the 70 new Hitachi electric fleet – delivering faster, longer, greener trains – will start to operate in autumn 2017 on the Edinburgh to Glasgow via Falkirk High line with the remainder appearing across the Central Belt the following year.

A further 27 fully refurbished High Speed Trains are being introduced on inter-city routes during the second half of 2018.

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