ScotRail this week introduced into service the first two refurbished examples of seven additional Class 320 trains, which will run on cross-Glasgow services via Glasgow Central Low Level.
ScotRail have leased these additional units - owned by Eversholt Rail Group and previously operated by London Midland - as part of their £475 million train improvement programme, which will deliver better lighting, accessibility enhancements, extra cycle space and at-seat power sockets.
The three-carriage Class 320 trains will be painted in ScotRail’s ‘Saltire’ livery and feature revamped interiors including modern flooring, finishes and toilets.
The 213-seat trains will also be fitted with new CCTV and Passenger Information systems. In addition, wifi will be rolled out across the fleet from September this year.
The revamped trains will be introduced at a rate of one every few weeks between now and October 2016 on routes between Milngavie/Dalmuir - Motherwell/Larkhall/Cumbernauld via Glasgow Central Low Level. They may also run between Glasgow Central High Level and Lanark.
Three of the seven extra Class 320 trains are currently operating on these routes before their refurbishment takes place later this summer.
The refurbishment project is being jointly funded by ScotRail and train owner Eversholt Rail, who are also managing this project. The work is being carried out at Wabtec Rail’s Doncaster facility.
Transport Minister, Humza Yousaf, said: “This programme of refurbishments will bring better facilities, wheelchair spaces, accessible toilet and more seats when they begin to operate in and around Glasgow.
“All of which helps to make rail travel a more modern, comfortable and popular option for the public and supports our commitment to deliver a modernised railway that offers an attractive alternative to car travel and reduces pressure on Scotland’s road network.
“The current programme of train improvements are a key part of the Scottish Government’s £5 billion investment in Scotland’s railways and they are a great example of how this translates into tangible benefits for passengers.”
ScotRail Alliance managing director, Phil Verster, said: “These excellent additions to our fleet generates more capacity – and ultimately more seats - for customers in the Strathclyde area, making rail travel a more appealing transport option.
“Customers will be able to charge their phones and laptops during their journeys, and can look forward to using free on-train wifi later this year.
"This is a milestone achievement in our overall train improvement programme, which sees £475 million spent on refurbishments and new trains for Scotland’s railway.”
Mary Kenny, Chief Executive Officer of Eversholt Rail Group, said: “We are delighted to continue working in partnership with the ScotRail Alliance to improve all of our fleets in Scotland.
“The Class 320 refurbishment programme demonstrates the importance of Scotland to us and our commitment to delivering the best value and highest quality rolling stock to our customers and their rail passengers.”
In December 2015, ScotRail announced the start of their biggest ever train improvement programme, which will see 90% of its train fleet either new or fully refurbished.
As part of this, the first of the 70 new Hitachi electric fleet – delivering faster, longer, greener trains - will start to operate in autumn 2017 on the Edinburgh to Glasgow via Falkirk High line with the remainder appearing across the Central Belt the following year.
In addition, 27 full refurbished HSTs are being introduced on inter-city routes during the second half of 2018.