First converted ‘320/4s s’ begin Scottish duties
THE first two fully-refurbished Class 320/4s entered traffic with ScotRail on August 17, albeit later than planned.
One three-car electric multiple unit (320415) was delivered to Glasgow Shields Road in late June, but issues surrounding gauge clearance meant it could not enter traffic. This was despite it being identical to the 22 Class 320/3s that have been in use in the Strathclyde region since 1990. The second EMU (320417) was delivered on July 29.
Wabtec Rail at Doncaster has converted the EMUs from four-car 321415 and 321417 respectively. Each ’320/4’ has had one vehicle removed - Trailer Standard Open (TSO) 71963 from the former and TSO 71965 from the latter.
The ‘320/4s’ are being introduced onto cross-Glasgow trains using suburban lines through Glasgow Central Low Level. They are leased from Eversholt Rail and form part of SR’s £475 million train improvement programme.
The refurbished EMUs feature 213 seats, plug sockets, CCTV and Passenger Information Systems. They are also fitted with accessible toilets, and will be fitted with WiFi from September.
Two more ‘320/4s’ will shortly be released from Doncaster - 320413 and 320414 (ex-321413/414 respectively), while three ‘320/4s’ already in traffic with SR and which have yet to be refurbished (320411/412/416) will all return to Doncaster for refurbishment.
SR said that the refurbished trains will enter traffic at a rate of one every few weeks until October.
The refurbishment project is being jointly funded by ScotRail and train owner Eversholt Rail, which is also managing this project.
“This programme of refurbishments will bring better facilities, wheelchair spaces, accessible toilets and more seats when they begin to operate in and around Glasgow,” said Scottish Transport Minister Humza Yousaf.
Mary Kenny, chief executive officer of Eversholt Rail Group, said: “The Class 320 refurbishment programme demonstrates the importance of Scotland to us, and our commitment to delivering the best value and highest quality rolling stock to our customers and their rail passengers.”
The ‘321/4s’ were used by London Midland until last September, when they were sent off-lease. Two (321413/414) went on short-term lease to London Overground for a period at the start of the year. They were replaced on LM trains by seven four-car Class 319s cascaded from Govia Thameslink Railway.