CBR claims another campaign success

The ScotRail trains to be operated on the Borders Railway will be refurbished in line with units serving scenic Highland routes. CBR’s packed AGM in Gala on 6th November applauded the announcement by Mike Kean – UK Rail Development Director of Dutch company Abellio who take over the ScotRail franchise next May – that, in response to a request from Transport Scotland, the trains will be upgraded like units serving the Far North and Kyle lines.

Although not all will be refurbished in time for the start of Borders Railway service, this is very welcome news, and represents another campaign success for CBR. The Inverness-based Class 158s have a spacious ambience, with good alignment of seats to windows, plus additional space for bikes and luggage.
Simon Walton, chairman of CBR responded that refurbished trains would provide a much better experience for commuters and visitors alike. “We’ve lobbied for better trains all along,” he said. “This refurbishment announcement is seen as the latest significant success for our continued campaigning work.”

The full CBR release is on:

CBR 2014 AGM release

Bathgate app 'before' 0809

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3 Responses

  1. Possibly improved diagramming/utilisation of Units could see some Inverness/Edinburgh trains run through to Tweedbank and vice versa.hence a better quality of rolling stock on some trains.

  2. This is good news; I think it is essential to have good quality rolling stock from day one as the railway will be welcoming many passengers / customers who may not have experienced train travel for some years (if ever). Some years ago, when the Aire Valley services were electrified, ancient, cast-off stock was introduced for the first few months / years which took some of the shine off the experience for new-to-rail customers.

  3. Very interesting to see the proposed use of Class 158 units for the new Borders Railway. However, the line is a fairly short one with frequent stops. Much of the intended use will be for commuters.

    Whilst it provides comfortable accommodation, in truth the Class 158 is not ideally suited to this type of service. It was designed for relatively lengthy sectors on secondary routes.

    On the Cambrian, we find that this type of train works well for the section west of Shrewsbury. On the route between there and Birmingham it can be a different matter at busy times.

    There are only doors at each end and the vestibules are realtively small. When there are standing passengers, this blocks the aisles and can lead to extended station dwell times as passengers negotiate their way along the train at stops.

    This can cause delay which accumulates at every calling point. The situation can be particularly bad at Telford and Wolverhampton.

    Classes 170 and 185 are much better in this respect, with larger doors in the middle portion of the coach,dividing the passenger accommodation into 3 parts.

    It will be interesting to see how the use of the Class 158 on the Borders Railway works out in practice.

    Angus Eickhoff
    Shrewsbury Aberystwyth rail Passengers’ Association (SARPA)

    http://sarpa.info

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