19th January 2019 · ‘Building Scotland’s best railway

Presenter: Alex Hynes, Scotrail Alliance

Our January meeting saw a very large turnout for the presentation “Building Scotland’s best railway”, from Alex Hynes, MD of the Scotrail Alliance, a partnership between Network Rail Scotland & Abellio Scotrail, the Scottish passenger train operator.

£2 Billion is being invested over 5 years, £1.5 Billion upgrading infrastructure, £475 Million on new Rolling Stock, services increasing from 2400 to 2600 daily. Electrification of Stirling, Dunblane, Alloa & Shotts routes was completed early & under budget: Aberdeen-Inverness and Highland Main Line upgrades are ongoing, 8 coach sets will be accommodated at Glasgow QS on completion of platform extensions. Upon delivery from Hitachi of the remaining Cl.385s, Scotrail DMUs will be refurbished and redeployed, boosting capacity in Fife and on the Borders Railway, whilst Scotrail HSTs replace DMUs on Inter-City routes.

Transferring 19 off-lease DMUs to Northern impacted on services, displaced Cl.365s being drafted in temporarily.

Mr. Hynes outlined the operational restraints imposed by infrastructure, i.e., the shortage of available rolling stock, limited driver & staff experience of the new stock, and the lack of driver/staff knowledge on the new routes, that are being addressed.

A very informative & interactive Q & A session, covering many topics, concluded the meeting.