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First of ScotRail’s revamped HSTs arrives for driver training

The first of ScotRail’s refurbished high-speed trains has arrived in Aberdeen to start driver training ahead of the fleet being rolled out next year.

When finished, the revamped rolling stock will create a new connection between Scotland’s seven cities, with the first train to be based in Aberdeen where it will travel the network in the North East of Scotland for driver training over the next few months.

The new carriages boast a number of features, including more seats, increased luggage space, power sockets at seats and enhanced on-board catering.

“The arrival of the first high-speed train in Aberdeen is an exciting milestone in our plan to build the best railway Scotland has ever had,” said ScotRail Alliance managing director Alex Hynes.

“Our refurbished high-speed trains will connect Scotland’s seven cities, offering better connections for commuters, business travellers and an opportunity for tourists to get out and about across this great country.”

Hynes added that the refurbished rolling stock will mean more seats, better services and an improved experience for our customers.

“The investment we are making in high-speed trains is a clear sign of the ScotRail Alliance’s commitment to building a world class railway for the whole of Scotland,” he concluded.

Humza Yousaf, Scottish minister for transport and the Islands, stated that it was great the trains had reached this important step towards delivery.

“Next year sees the start of a transformed inter-city service – connecting Scotland's seven cities with high-speed trains,” he explained.

“The refurbishment programme has already started. And when the 26 fully upgraded trains roll-out across the country, I know they will be popular with passengers: more seats, better journeys, the latest standard of comfort, better accessibility, and enhanced catering.”

And Malcom Brown, CEO of Angel Trains, which is leasing the trains, said that the fleet will undergo interior and technical improvements prior to entering into passenger service to ensure that they can meet the requirements of modern intercity travellers.

“With the support of Transport Scotland and ScotRail, Angel Trains has committed to invest in excess of £50m in the fleet in the coming years. We will be excited to see this fleet introduced next year,” he added.

An interview with Alex Hynes will also appear in the next edition of RTM. To subscribe for your free copy, click here.

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Andrew Cawood   14/09/2017 at 13:06

Great to see the HST making a new home on Scotland regional services.This train has always been admired and will deliver a good quality service.I am sure they will be well received and used.

Andrew Gwilt   14/09/2017 at 13:46

I think more Class 43's HST's and Mk3 coaches are on their way to Scotrail or at least some to Scotrail. Whilst the rest will end up with East Midlands Trains and Crosscountry and some to Arriva Trains Wales. Whilst Great Western Railway and Virgin Trains East Coast are getting the Class 800's and Class 801's from late this year and early next year and the Class 802's for GWR, Hull Trains and Transpennine Express from next year.

Jak Jaye   14/09/2017 at 14:10

Can anyone see Class 800/1s running in 40 years time? answers on a postcard please! can see the magnificiant BR bulit HSTs running past their 50th anniversery and beyond

AJG89   14/09/2017 at 22:43

The Class 43's will last for about 15 years more but new Bi-Mode and Diesel multiple unit trains are due to replace the Class 43 HST's in 15 years time.

Paul Coenraats   15/09/2017 at 17:04

I sincerely home that refurbished HST's will replace the horrible Voyagers that Crosscountry use to get to and from far flung places. Also can one hope that the seating has reduced height seat backs especially the ones in Scotland as the Panoramic Views of the HIghlands will never be seen again.

Roger Capel   18/09/2017 at 08:02

Lucky Scots! Commuting on Voyagers & Meridians is great for dinning into one just how superior a travel experience an HST or a loco hauled Mark 3 is. Hopefully XCountry's HSTs will get the same treatment, given that the slack in AXC's fleet is nil. Those of us "of an age" will be reminded of A2s & A4s moving to the Glasgow - Aberdeen run after dieselization of the ECML!

J, Leicester   18/09/2017 at 11:03

Scottish commuters don't realise how lucky they are to be getting HSTs and Mk 3s - but I guarantee this will be jumped upon as an example of "Scotland's raw deal" by the SNP!

Mark Hare   25/09/2017 at 16:16

Hmmm... one of the best features of the HSTs in original configuration was their large windows and aligning seats. The FGW HSTs were refurbished with airline-style seats with high backs which severely diminished the travelling experience - 'more seats' in these sets bound for Scotland seems to suggest the same.

Mark Hare   25/09/2017 at 16:24

“The arrival of the first high-speed train in Aberdeen is an exciting milestone in our plan to build the best railway Scotland has ever had".... This quote rather ignores the fact that HSTs have been 'arriving' in Aberdeen for at least 35 years, having replaced Deltics and 47s on the route.

PP   29/09/2017 at 09:33

Mark, I agree that the original seating configuration had a lot of advantages, but personally if I'm travelling alone, I prefer an airline seat for privacy. That said, the FGW high-backed layout with almost all airline seats is horribly claustrophobic, and I hope ScotRail get the balance right, especially because the Highland Main Line is very scenic, and the view is a big highlight of any journey on the route.

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