Designs for the 70 brand new faster, quieter and longer trains being built for the ScotRail fleet have been unveiled by Transport Minister Derek Mackay.
New ScotRail franchisee Abellio has signed the contract with train builders Hitachi Rail Europe in an industry-first deal that could see the Scottish Government buy up the full fleet of the trains after 25 years for just £1.
This secures the carriages for use in Scotland well beyond the life of the Abellio’s ten-year ScotRail contract, which begins on April 1.
Mr Mackay met with Abellio Chief Executive Jeff Hoogesteger and Hitachi’s Production Director Jon Veitch to mark the signing of the innovative and exciting contract and unveil the first images of how the new trains will look.
Once delivered in summer 2017, the new trains will operate on Scotland’s busiest route – the Edinburgh-Glasgow via Falkirk High line – as a result of the Scottish Government’s Edinburgh-Glasgow rail Improvement Programme. This work will enable eight-carriage electric trains to run between both cities providing around 50% more seats in the peak than current services.
They will also run on the Stirling-Alloa-Dunblane line and south Glasgow suburban routes.
The contract sees the Scottish Government guarantee the use of the trains on Scotland’s rail network for at least 25 years and also comprises a ten-year maintenance deal, with plans currently in place to stable and service the trains at depots in Edinburgh.
Mr Mackay said:
“With the new ScotRail franchise, a number of impressive infrastructure projects and these slick new trains, we are giving Scotland a railway to be proud of.
“Abellio’s winning bid for the ScotRail franchise included several exciting proposals and I look forward to seeing it all take shape from their takeover of the service in just a few weeks.
“Passengers will love using these new trains with many more seats, but the benefits go far beyond that. The use of electric trains on Scotland’s busiest route will help reduce our carbon footprint. The improved journey times and connection can only be good for our two biggest cities. And the innovative contract has reduced the cost of the finance, as well as guaranteeing a great deal for Scotland in the longer term.
“This is real evidence of Scotland’s railways being fit for the future.”