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
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.