This item was published during the term of a previous administration that ended in April 2007
New trains on track for Scots network
The first of 22 brand new trains bound for the Scottish rail network are expected to be delivered early next month, Transport Minister Nicol Stephen confirmed today during a visit to Bombardier manufacturers in Derby.
The full complement of new trains will be taken on by the successful bidder for the new Scottish passenger rail franchise.
Mr Stephen said:
"Improving services acrossScotland's busiest rail routes is one of our priorities. These new trains will help tackle overcrowding and improve the quality of passenger journeys across the network.
"Our investment will result in more than a 50 per cent increase in seats for some journeys with routes toFife, Dunblane and Bathgate all set to benefit. Longer trains will lead to a 37 per cent increase in capacity on theGlasgowtoEdinburghexpress route and a 16 per cent increase on theAberdeenandInvernessroute.
"Rail passengers tell us they want better reliability, more seats and cleaner trains. We are investing in 22 new trains worth almost £4 million each. This is part of a package of investment worth more than £100 million which will help deliver a better deal for passengers."
The Minister said that £14 million from the Integrated Transport Fund will be used for the increased maintenance and cleaning requirements of the new trains.
A new and expanded depot for fuelling, cleaning and housing trains overnight is being built at Eastfield inGlasgow. Improvements will also be made at Haymarket inEdinburgh,PerthandInvernessand will be completed in time for the new trains which are expected to be in place by Spring 2005.
Mr Stephen added:
"Taking these steps to provide these trains, as well as the funding to maintain and care for them, are important steps to securing the long term future of rail inScotland.
"We will also be investing in work to lengthen platforms at more than 20 stations acrossScotlandto accommodate the longer trains.
"This deal is the result of working together with the Strategic Rail Authority and ScotRail and their co-operation has been instrumental in securing this deal for Scottish rail passengers."
The Executive's investment is intended to achieve improvements in the quality and comfort of trains along the Edinburgh/Glasgow Express and Glasgow to Aberdeen and Inverness routes.
It will increase peak hour seating capacity providing greater reliability on the Edinburgh to Glasgow route and increased capacity on routes serving Fife, Bathgate and Dunblane which will tackle overcrowding.
In December 2002, the former Transport Minister Iain Gray announced an initial £5.4 million investment which allowed ScotRail to procure the new trains.
This also included:
investment for the recruitment and training of extra train drivers to improve reliability
tightening ScotRail's performance targets to aim for better time keeping and less cancellations
by the end of 2003 to introduce automatic ticket barriers at Waverley, Haymarket and Queen Street stations and 10 self service ticket machines to cut down on fare dodgers