ScotRail gets its first HST

SCOTRAIL has taken delivery of its first InterCity 125, which has been showcased in Aberdeen ahead of a driver training programme.

After an initial move from Laira to Doncaster, four Mk3 trailers were left at Wabtec, with power car Nos. 43132 and 43021 continuing to Craigentinny depot in a 2+4 formation. Here, they were given special branding proclaiming ‘A New Era’, before the reveal in the Granite City by ScotRail MD Alex Hynes.

The set will be based there for crew training over the next few months, with Aberdeen and Edinburgh being connected by ScotRail HST from May 2018.

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Former FGW power car No. 43132 leads a shortened HST train through Newcastle on September 1 during the transfer of the first IC125 to ScotRail. KYLE ALLSOPP

ScotRail plans to connect seven cities with the HSTs – Edinburgh and Glasgow to Stirling, Perth, Dundee, Aberdeen and Inverness – which will allow the Class 170s to be cascaded elsewhere. The franchise will take on a total of 26 slimmed-down HST sets from GWR, all of which will be in traffic by May 2019.

Each will be refurbished, and feature increased numbers of seats, extra luggage space, at-seat power sockets, and enhanced on-board catering.

There is plenty of life in the HST – it is still rated as the best train produced in the British Rail era, despite being around 40 years old – and all the power cars have been through
a re-engining programme to fit MTU 4000 power units.

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The ‘125s’ are owned by Angel Trains, which is investing £50million in the refurbishment.

The first set is due for completion next February, with ScotRail planning to run 17
five-car and nine four-car sets.

■ The power car of a second HST being transferred to ScotRail caught fire at Exeter on September 14. The cause is under investigation.

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