THE first refurbished HST has entered service with ScotRail. The launch train formed the 12.55 from Aberdeen to Edinburgh on 10 October, displacing a Class 170 unit.
The former GWR set is to be one of 26 which have been dubbed ‘Inter7City’ because they will be serving routes connecting seven Scottish cities.
The fleet has needed extensive refurbishment, partly to comply with imminent changes to accessibility regulations. The centrally-locked slam doors have been replaced by single leaf electric ones, and waste is no longer discharged on the track.
ScotRail Alliance managing director Alex Hynes welcomed the introduction of HSTs on internal Scottish services, which was later than predicted, after delays affecting the refurbishment programme being carried out by Wabtec in Doncaster.
Mr Hynes told The Scotsman: ‘We have been disappointed with Wabtec’s delivery. They know that, they really do. We are putting a lot of pressure on Wabtec because we need these trains to deliver our promises to customers.
‘It has been very difficult, and very challenging. There have been changes in personnel at their end. What matters is that we work with Angel Trains, who own the stock, and Wabtec to get as many of these trains in traffic as soon as we can.’
The deadline for completing the fleet is December next year.