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ScotRail will offer new options for cyclists and skiers

British train operating company Abellio ScotRail will upgrade five single-coach diesel trains of Class 153. They will get special areas for carrying up to 20 bicycles in each vehicle. The retrofitted trains will run on the West Highland Line from 2020.

Within a pilot project, ScotRail intends to offer options for cyclists and skiers travelling across West Highlands. Five diesel trains will be equipped with special racks to accommodate bicycles, sporting equipment and large items of luggage including ski bags and rucksacks. Also, the trains will receive new interior with Wi-Fi service, new comfortable seats with power sockets and a refurbished toilet.

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ScotRail Class 153 train with special bicycle areas, source: ScotRail

British maintenance company Brodie Engineering will perform the modernisation of Class 153 trains. The project is in line with the Scottish Government’s commitment to promote active tourism and improve transport connectivity. “We are continually looking to enhance the experience our customers have when travelling on our trains, and the introduction of these carriages will be a welcome boost for cyclists and those in search of outdoor pursuits. This project will support tourism, and bring wider economic benefits, along Scotland’s most scenic railways,” said Tom Smith, Project Manager at ScotRail.

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Retrofitted ScotRail Class 153 train, source: ScotRail

Unique initiative

The modernisation of the Class 153 units is the outstanding project for the UK rail sector. It is the first time when a train operating company retrofits the passenger trains focusing on some categories of passengers and provides much more options for them. “This unique initiative will provide an affordable and accessible way to access the great outdoors and support more people to make active travel choices whilst delivering wider economic benefits for Scotland. It’s a very exciting time and we are another step closer to realising our ambitious Programme for Government commitment,” noted Bill Reeve, Transport Scotland Director of Rail.

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Author: Mykola Zasiadko

Mykola Zasiadko is editor of online trade magazines RailTech.com and RailFreight.com.

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