We can be proud of our railway

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Thousands of extra seats, new trains, improved accessibility and enhanced facilities – that’s what the ScotRail Alliance has pledged to deliver.

As part of its largest ever train improvement programme, ScotRail will spend £475million over the next seven years.

This will see 75 per cent of its train fleet either fully refurbished or newly bought.

The news was revealed when Derek Mackay, Minister for Transport and Islands, and ScotRail Alliance managing director Phil Verster unveiled a newly-refurbished Class 318 train at Milngavie station last week.

During the next three years 180 carriages will be added to the fleet – bringing the total to almost 1,000.

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 wifi.

And seven Class 320 trains will be introduced in Scotland from early 2016.

Mr Verster said: “This is the biggest improvement programme in our history.

“Over the course of the next three years we will bring in new trains, upgrade our existing fleet and deliver exciting upgrades like better wifi and at-seat power points.

“This is an extraordinary programme of works that will give Scotland a railway of which we can be truly proud.

“It 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. Our vision of connecting Scotland is about using the railway to help our country to grow and prosper.”

Derek Mackay said: “The Scottish Government wants to see more people choose to leave their car at home.

“That is why we are investing a record £5billion in our rail network.”
Eversholt Rail is carrying out the refurbishment programme.

ScotRail’s new high speed train fleet, introduced from autumn 2017, will be used on the Glasgow to Aberdeen, Edinburgh to Aberdeen, Glasgow to Inverness, Edinburgh to Inverness and Aberdeen to Inverness routes. On average, seating capacity will increase by 36 per cent.