Im­prove­ment isn’t keep­ing sta­tus quo

The Press and Journal (North-East) - - FEATURES -

SIR, – The piece on “New high-speed trains” (Press and Jour­nal, Septem­ber 15) makes in­ter­est­ing read­ing. Leav­ing aside the dis­cus­sion over whether the trains are “new” or “re­fur­bished” there are still a num­ber of points that bear fur­ther ex­am­i­na­tion.

First, if I re­call cor­rectly, Abel­lio, when they took over the ScotRail fran­chise, promised new and bet­ter trains. Yet ScotRail Al­liance man­ag­ing di­rec­tor Alex Haynes has now said “I can ab­so­lutely guar­an­tee that it will be no WORSE than it is today”.

This is sim­ply not good enough,

the prom­ise was for im­prove­ments not a main­te­nance of the sta­tus quo!

Se­condly, ex­ist­ing HST trains are bet­ter than DMUs be­cause they have more toi­let pro­vi­sion, legroom and bike space.

ScotRail plans to add more seats to the car­riages by re­mov­ing toi­lets and de­creas­ing bike space and pos­si­bly legroom – would it not be bet­ter to add an ex­tra car­riage and re­tain the toi­lets, legroom and bike space?

Fi­nally, while the lim­ited im­prove­ments on the Aberdeen to In­ver­ness, Glas­gow and Ed­in­burgh jour­neys are to be wel­comed, al­ways as­sum­ing that these jour­neys are cov­ered by the HST fleet, what of those com­mut­ing from say Huntly, In­verurie, Stone­haven and Lau­rencekirk to Aberdeen?

Will they al­ways see HSTs or will the class 170 & 158 DMUs sol­dier wearily on?

Abel­lio promised great things for ScotRail pas­sen­gers and while the Glas­gow and Ed­in­burgh rail users may be about to see some of these things ar­rive, Aberdeen and the north-east are as usual left wait­ing on the plat­form.

Gra­ham Bar­ron, Southview,

Drum of War­tle

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