ScotRail today unveiled new winter equipment to keep more trains running and enhance access at stations during severe weather.
It showcased two 75-metre ‘polytunnels’ – to melt snow and ice from trains three times faster than conventional methods – at Eastfield depot in Glasgow.
The polytunnels are an upgrade on last year’s award-winning ‘poly wrap’, and part of ScotRail’s £2million plans to better prepare for extreme conditions this winter.
The train operator also revealed all-wheel-drive vans, customised with mini-kitchens and washing facilities, to sustain staff in remote locations.
The vans are equipped with specialised winter tools such as snow blowers and hand-held de-icing material spreaders.
Last winter, 70 ScotRail trains were withdrawn from service due to damage caused by frozen blocks of snow and ice falling from undercarriages, then ‘bouncing upwards’.
ScotRail successfully trialled the use of ‘poly wraps’ last winter to speed up the de-icing of trains – achieving a 30% increase in the number of trains returned to service.