HST re­born

Rail (UK) - - Contents - Philip Haigh philip.haigh@bauer­me­dia.co.uk Con­tribut­ing Writer ScotRail 43183 pre­pares to leave Aberdeen on Oc­to­ber 10 with a pre­view In­ter7City run to Ed­in­burgh Waver­ley. Al­though the power car would develop an air leak later and de­lay the train’s ar­riv

ScotRail op­er­ates its first pas­sen­ger ser­vices us­ing re­fur­bished ‘In­ter7City’ High Speed Trains.

SCOTRAIL is car­ry­ing pas­sen­gers aboard its first re­fur­bished ‘In­ter7City’ High Speed Train, with the first or­di­nary pas­sen­ger ser­vice leav­ing Aberdeen on time at 0907 on Mon­day Oc­to­ber 15 and ar­riv­ing at Ed­in­burgh Waver­ley one minute late at 1136.

Full ser­vices us­ing only re­fur­bished trains might take around a year to in­tro­duce, be­cause of de­lays re­fur­bish­ing the for­mer Great Western Railway (GWR) Mk 3 trail­ers.

The first ser­vice train fol­lowed a pre­view run from Aberdeen to Ed­in­burgh Waver­ley on Oc­to­ber 10, leav­ing at 1155. The pre­view was de­layed 46 min­utes be­tween Cu­par and Lady­bank when an air leak on lead­ing power car 43138 brought the train to a stop. Once restarted, the train reached Waver­ley 30 min­utes late to re­ceive fur­ther at­ten­tion from fit­ters, with hiss­ing air clearly audi­ble. ScotRail can­celled the train’s re­turn 1527 Ed­in­burgh-Aberdeen jour­ney.

The re­fur­bished set fea­tured pow­ered slid­ing doors for pas­sen­gers (in place of the HST’s tra­di­tional slam doors), and con­trolled emis­sion toi­lets so that waste no longer sprays onto the track and any staff work­ing nearby.

Scot­land’s ‘saltire’ fea­tures heav­ily on board, with the de­vice used in Stan­dard Class on car­pets and mo­quette. In First Class, ScotRail has kept the leather seats in­stalled by pre­vi­ous user GWR, but re­placed GWR’s car­pets with a blue and grey tar­tan.

Seat­ing re­mains 2+1 in First Class and 2+2 in Stan­dard, with more seats of four around ta­bles than GWR pas­sen­gers have been used to. There’s a mini-buf­fet at the end of the First Class coach, and ScotRail also runs a trol­ley. The four-coach set used on the pre­view

pro­vides 32 First Class and 206 Stan­dard Class seats.

An­gel Trains owns the HSTs. Chief Ex­ec­u­tive Kevin Tri­b­ley told RAIL that he ex­pects ScotRail to have its full fleet of 26 re­fur­bished trains by this time next year. He ex­plained that a va­ri­ety of prob­lems had de­layed the trains’ de­liv­ery. He said that more work had been needed than was ex­pected, and ex­plained that it was prov­ing harder to find staff with rail ex­pe­ri­ence in Don­caster (where con­trac­tor Wabtec re­fur­bishes the coaches).

ScotRail Manag­ing Direc­tor Alex Hynes said he needed ten in ser­vice to sup­port De­cem­ber’s timetable ( RAIL 853), and that he would use a mix of re­fur­bished and ‘clas­sic’ trains. Tri­b­ley added that An­gel would need to care­fully sched­ule its sup­ply of HSTs to ScotRail, to pro­vide enough to run the ser­vice while re­fur­bish­ing oth­ers.

De­spite the prob­lems, Hynes said: “Our In­ter7City ser­vice will pro­vide more seats, bet­ter ser­vices, and more com­fort­able jour­neys for our cus­tomers.”

On the run from Aberdeen, Morag McGown from MND Scot­land (ScotRail’s cho­sen char­ity part­ner) de­scribed the train as fan­tas­tic. Also on board was Trans­form Scot­land rail spokesman Paul Tet­law, who said: “We’re de­lighted to see the first of the fully re­fur­bished ScotRail HST trains about to en­ter ser­vice.” @phi­la­trail

PHILIP HAIGH.

In Stan­dard Class aboard ScotRail’s In­ter7City ser­vice, seats are ar­ranged around ta­bles or in air­line style. Power sock­ets are mounted up­side down to al­low larger charg­ers to be con­nected.

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