Posted 11th October 2018 | 7 Comments

First HST enters service on ScotRail

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 The centrally-locked slam doors have been replaced by single leaf electric ones, and waste is no longer discharged on the track.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.

Reader Comments:

Views expressed in submitted comments are that of the author, and not necessarily shared by Railnews.

  • Roger Capel, Sheffield

    Tim, I shouldn't worry too much. GWR's first "pocket rocket" power doored & CET fitted HST was standing outside Wabtec last week, so you'll be travelling on them a good few years yet. Plus Cross Country's full length sets are (over)due for the same treatment.

  • Andrew Gwilt, Benfleet Essex

    Scotland will benefit from these HST Class 43 & Mk3 coaches fleet and to provide a much better service that these units will serve the 7 Scottish cities.

  • david c smith, Bletchley

    Is a shortened 4-coach HST cost-effective , with 4,500 horsepower available from 2 power cars ?

  • Garth, Dunkeld

    Agreed, Scotrail let down badly by Wabtec. However, more of the HSTs will be brought into service shortly, albeit with existing (unmodernised) carriages. That is certainly better than nothing, but to Tony's point there will be some difficulty with opening the doors. Many people on these services will be unaware of the door opening arrangements, so a few hiccups at first, perhaps.

  • Tim, Plymouth

    Wish I could see these, would be very interesting to see how it all looks and feels.
    I'm glad these workhorses aren't being scrapped just because of their age however.
    The Intercy 125 sets have been providing comfortable journeys for longer than I have been alive and I am in no rush to see Great Western replace them all with DMUs.
    I hate travelling on the Voyager Cross Country stock, it's like sitting on a washing machine, not comfortable for long journeys at all. I haven't tried one of the new Great Western DMUs but I'm guessing they will feel much the same after a few thousand miles.


    Unfortunately for Abellio ScotRail they have been let down very badly by suppliers: First, Hitachi with the wrong shape of driver's window and some internal computer faults on Class 385s, making into-service very late with consequent requirement of using the leased Class 365s on upcoming service from Edinburgh to Dunblane in the new, December, timetable's electric services.
    Now Wabtec, whose huge delays in refurbishment (with associated 'personnel' changes) have held up the launch of the Inter7City HSTs, with only one actually running.

  • Tony Pearce, Reading

    No longer do you have to pull down the Window and lean out to turn the very heavy Door Handle to exit the Train. I shall miss them. But in all honesty that belonged to the Victorian Era. One of the 'delights' of Paddington used to be the Toilet Remnants which were visible from all Platforms and never washed away by rain because of the Glass Roof. That won't be missed either.