A £475 million project to refurbish and renew Scotland’s train fleet has been announced by the ScotRail Alliance.
The seven-year programme will lead to either the refurbishment or replacement of 75 per cent of the Scottish fleet, including the introduction of a brand new fleet of EMUs.
From early next year, seven refurbished three-car Class 320 trains from Eversholt Rail will be phased back into service on Strathclyde routes.
The programme will also include the complete refurbishment of all 21 Class 318s. The renewed 318s will have new accessible toilets, power sockets, cycle storage and free Wi-Fi.
From 2017, refurbished HSTs will be introduced on inter city routes between Glasgow-Aberdeen, Edinburgh-Aberdeen, Glasgow-Inverness, Edinburgh-Inverness and Aberdeen-Inverness.
The most significant investment will come in the form of 70 new electric trains from Hitachi, which will begin to appear on the network from 2017.
ScotRail Alliance managing director Phil Verster said: “This is the biggest improvement programme in ScotRail’s history. Over the course of the next three years, we will bring in new trains, upgrade our existing fleet and deliver exciting upgrades like better wifi and at-seat power points.
“This is an extraordinary programme of works that will give Scotland a railway of which we can be truly proud.
“I know that one of the biggest issues concerning our customers is busy trains. I hope, with the programme we are announcing today, people will see we are taking action.
“Alongside the massive projects we are currently delivering, this programme will bring more seats, shorter journey times and a rail service that is better for our environment.
“We are not just about running metal boxes up and down tracks. We want to connect people with jobs, business with customers and tourists with destinations. Our vision of Connecting Scotland is about using the railway to help our country to grow and prosper. The transformation of our fleet in the next few years will help deliver that.”