ScotRail's 'new' HSTs [Rail Engineer]

Date: 23/03/2017

In 2012, Transport Scotland published the results of its rail passenger service consultation. This considered how the railway should develop and the types of passenger services required. Its results were incorporated into the specification for the ScotRail franchise which was renewed in 2014.

One conclusion from this consultation exercise was that passengers traveling from central Scotland to Aberdeen and Inverness much preferred to travel in Virgin Trains East Coast High Speed Trains (HSTs) from London than ScotRails Class 170 diesel multiple units (DMUs).

For this reason, the invitation to tender (ITT) document for the ScotRail franchise included a specification for improved rolling stock for Scotlands internal inter-city services that could have been based on the HSTs mark 3 coach. In its franchise bid, Abellios response to this requirement was that it would provide refurbished HSTs on the routes that serve Scotlands seven cities (Glasgow, Edinburgh, Stirling, Perth, Dundee, Aberdeen and Inverness).

ScotRails 26 HSTs

The HSTs will be phased into service from summer 2018, with the full fleet operational for the May 2019 timetable change. This aligns with the completion of Network Rails Highland main line journey time improvements project. 54 power cars and 121 coaches will be leased from Angel Trains. These will make up 17 five-coach trains and 9 four- coach trains with two power cars spare. The 2019 timetable will require 23 trains in service each day with five coach sets operating Central Belt to Aberdeen services and the four coach trains generally running to Inverness. The number of through services from Inverness to the Central Belt via Aberdeen will also be increased.

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