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December 22, 2015

ScotRail to invest £475m in improved train services

The ScotRail Alliance is planning to invest £475m as part of its rail improvement programme to provide new trains, extra seats, improved accessibility and facilities to its passengers in the UK.

The ScotRail Alliance is planning to invest £475m as part of its rail improvement programme to provide new trains, extra seats, improved accessibility and facilities to its passengers in the UK.

The seven-year programme will see either the refurbishment or replacement of 75% of the Scottish train fleet.

Transport Scotland and the ScotRail Alliance have also unveiled a newly refurbished Class 318 train at Milngavie station.

Over the next three years, 180 carriages will be added to the fleet, two-thirds of current ScotRail trains will be refurbished by 2018, more than 17,000 at-seat power points will be added and 346 more trains will be equipped with free Wi-Fi.

"This programme will bring more seats, shorter journey times and a rail service that is better for our environment."

ScotRail Alliance managing director Phil Verster said: "This is the biggest improvement programme in ScotRail’s history.

"Alongside the massive projects we are currently delivering, this programme will bring more seats, shorter journey times and a rail service that is better for our environment.

"We are not just about running metal boxes up and down tracks. We want to connect people with jobs, business with customers and tourists with destinations.

"Our vision of Connecting Scotland is about using the railway to help our country to grow and prosper. The transformation of our fleet in the next few years will help deliver that."

The refurbishment programme will be carried out by Eversholt Rail, which will provide the seven additional Class 320 trains from early next year for operations on several Strathclyde routes, linking Balloch/Milngavie/Dalmuir to Airdrie/Cumbernauld/Lanark/Larkhall via Glasgow Queen St and Glasgow Central Low Level.

Scotland Transport Minister Derek Mackay said: "The Scottish Government wants to see more people choose to leave their car at home and make use of public transport.

"That is why we are investing a record £5bn in our rail network, including significant improvements to rolling stock, to ensure that infrastructure keeps pace with demand and that Scotland’s rail passengers are offered the very best value for money."

The programme will also include the complete refurbishment of all 21 Class 318s, which will have new accessible toilets, power sockets, cycle storage and free Wi-Fi.

The entry of class 320 trains into service will be followed by the introduction of 70 new Hitachi electric trains in 2017 on the Edinburgh to Glasgow via Falkirk High line.

In addition, 27 fully refurbished high-speed trains (HSTs) are being introduced onto the Glasgow-Aberdeen, Edinburgh-Aberdeen, Glasgow-Inverness, Edinburgh-Inverness and Aberdeen-Inverness inter-city routes during the second half of 2018.

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