£1.6 million depot upgrade set to improve Highland train performance

ScotRail HST
Credit: RailEngineer

ScotRail has announced that they have installed new equipment at their Inverness Depot to improve train performance.

A new £1.6 million mobile wheel lathe has been installed. This will improve the reliability of train services between Inverness and Aberdeen, Kyle of Lochalsh, Wick and Thurso.

The machine reprofiles train wheels, and this removes any imperfections or flat spots which have developed to keep the ride comfort as good as possible.

The introduction of the new equipment also included the installation of new synchronised lifting jacks that allow two-carriage trains to be lifted at the same time.

Both ScotRail’s existing Class 158 trains, which operate to and from Kyle of Lochalsh, Wick and Thurso and new fleet of high-speed Inter7City trains will be serviced at the depot.

The £1.6 million project was funded through Network Rail’s Control Period 5 Scottish Network Improvement Fund.

What did the officials say?

ScotRail Project Manager John MacDonald said:

“The installation of the new wheel lathe at Inverness Depot will improve the performance and reliability of services in the region.

“Trains can now be serviced locally, allowing the depot to get them back in passenger service faster, saving valuable time.

“With the busy tourist season fast approaching, this is a real boost for the Highlands.”

Transport Scotland’s Rolling Stock Programme Manager Dougie Andrews said:

“Passengers across the Highlands will be delighted that this equipment is now being used to help enable trains to return to service quickly and provide a more reliable level of performance.

“This Scottish Government funding builds upon the significant on-going investment in infrastructure and rolling stock across the area, enabling more services and seats to be provided. This, in turn, is helping make rail travel a more attractive choice for commuters and leisure travellers in the north of Scotland.”

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  • Why not ScotRail to have extra Class 43 Mk3s to operate on the Fife Circle Lines. And to use them up north in Scotland aswell.

  • Is Scotrail actually getting rid of the Class 170 Turbostars or just some as Northern have got 16 Class 170s cascaded from Scotrail. With extra HST Class 43s that could be cascaded to Scotrail from GWR. If Scotrail were to inherit more Class 43 HSTs to add more capacity on its “In7ercity” services.