Rail users are set to benefit from the latest fleet upgrades. The upgraded class 156 diesel trains are part of a £16 million refurbishment programme. Each features new seats along with power sockets, new flooring, livery, accessible toilets and dedicated wheelchair spaces. Each carriage has had a full internal and external repaint plus energy efficient lighting and Wi-Fi installed.
Humza Yousaf, Minister for Transport and the Islands said:
“We are investing over £5,000 million in Scotland’s railways to 2019 to ensure that as many people as possible have access to a modern, efficient rail network. In recent years we have introduced 160 extra carriages with an extra 180 to follow. This has delivered more than 50% extra carriages since 2007 in the ScotRail fleet.
“As well as introducing new trains, we are modernising the existing fleet such as class 156s. This will make a real difference for passengers, delivering better on train facilities and making fleets more accessible all across Scotland. This builds on seven months continuous improvement in franchise performance.
“Good, high quality refurbishment can deliver a passenger experience comparable with new rolling stock, which is a sustainable approach and it has also guaranteed jobs at the Knorr Bremse factory at Springburn.”
The ScotRail Alliance Engineering Director Angus Thom added:
“Seeing the refurbished Class156s now appearing on the network is great news for customers as the improved connectivity and enhanced comfort they offer are what everyone who travels by train now expects. We’ll see a steady flow of these refurbished units in service over the remainder of 2017 and beyond.”
Kenneth Gibson commented:
“This refurbishment programme will significantly improve the experience of passengers and make travelling by train much more comfortable, attracting more rail passengers, leading to fewer car journeys and positively impacting on our environment.”
Most of the works undertaken are at Springburn and will be completed in early 2019. Class 156s were built in 1987 and have been in the ScotRail Alliance fleet ever since. 38 of the current fleet of 48 are being upgraded within this contract as part of the ScotRail Alliance franchise obligations. It will also ensure that the fleet meets the Person of Reduced Mobility /Technical Specification for Interoperability requirements, ahead of the 2020 deadline.