UK: ScotRail will put its first refurbished diesel HST sets into revenue service between Aberdeen and Edinburgh on October 15, the operator announced during a VIP preview run on October 10. Full deployment is expected to follow from the December 9 timetable change.
Branded Inter7City, the 26 upgraded HST sets are intended to operate inter-city services linking Scotland’s seven principal cities – Aberdeen, Dundee, Edinburgh, Glasgow, Inverness, Perth and Stirling. As well as freeing up Turbostar DMUs to increase capacity elsewhere, the refurbished trainsets will offer increased seating and luggage space on these flagship services, together with better onboard hospitality, ‘providing a boost for commuters, tourists, and business travellers’.
ScotRail is leasing from Angel Trains 121 Mk III vehicles and 54 MTU-engined power cars displaced from Great Western services by the introduction of Class 800 electro-diesel trainsets under the Intercity Express Programme. These will be formed into nine sets of 2+4 and 17 of 2+5. The trailer vehicles have been fully refurbished by Wabtec with power-operated doors to meet accessibility requirements and controlled-emission toilets. At-seat power sockets have also been provided.
‘Our Inter7City service will provide more seats, better services, and more comfortable journeys for our customers’, said ScotRail Alliance Managing Director Alex Hynes. ‘The investment we are making in these iconic trains is a clear sign of the ScotRail Alliance’s commitment to building a bigger and better railway for the whole of Scotland.’
‘Passengers have looked forward to the arrival of the fully refurbished HST fleet which will bring significant improvements for travellers on our inter-city routes between Scotland’s seven main cities’, said Cabinet Secretary for Transport, Infrastructure & Connectivity Michael Matheson. ‘ScotRail and Wabtec have given assurances they remain focused on ensuring the full fleet is in service as quickly and efficiently as possible. The boost in seating provision will help support the overall 23% increase in capacity being delivered during 2019 as rail continues to grow in popularity across Scotland.’