ScotRail unveils Class 153 ‘Active Travel Carriage’ design

Class 153 Active Travel Carriage Livery
Credit: ScotRail

ScotRail has unveiled the livery for its first active travel carriage, which is to be designated for carrying bikes and sporting equipment.

Designed by Peter McDermott, a Scottish artist, the eye-catching livery includes the West Highland Line scenery, including the Glenfinnan Viaduct.

Five Class 153s are being turned into Active Travel Carriages to carry up to 20 bikes to enhance train services on the West Highland Line.

The 153s will also support winter sports in Scotland, accommodating items such as skis and rucksacks. They are also undergoing a full interior and exterior refresh, including wifi, power sockets and a refurbished toilet.

The first of these carriages are due to be completed later in 2020 when the programme can resume following the coronavirus pandemic.

Tom Smith, ScotRail Project Manager, said: “We’re delighted to be able to share the exterior design of our first active travel carriage. Peter McDermott’s eye-catching design pays real homage to the beautiful and tranquil West Highland Line. We’re living in uncertain times, but when these carriages are eventually introduced, it will be a welcome boost for cyclists and those in search of outdoor pursuits along Scotland’s most scenic railways.”

Peter McDermott, artist and designer of ScotRail’s Class 153 livery, said: “It was a great pleasure to have been asked to produce this illustration. Particularly as my own illustrative style is directly inspired by such artists as Norman Wilkinson and Tom Purvis, who among others, were responsible for the much-loved railway art of the 1930s and 40s. Their work was confined to train compartments and poster hoardings, but fortunately for me, I’ve had the unique opportunity to work on a much larger canvas, which now allows this iconic illustrative style to travel through, and contribute to the very landscape we’ve all sought to interpret. I hope they would be as delighted as I am with the end result.”

Bill Reeve, Transport Scotland’s Director of Rail, said: “It is exciting to see the finalised design for these Class 153 carriages, one which incorporates the beauty of the Scottish landscape whilst clearly promoting their active travel purpose. This comes as a result of close collaboration between the artist Peter McDermott and ScotRail. We look forward to seeing what are sure to become iconic carriages enter passenger service in the future, once we have reached more certain times in our current phased exit from COVID-19 lockdown.”

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  1. This is wonderful news. Bill Reeve, Transport Scotland’s Director of Rail, and Peter McDermott, artist and designer of ScotRail’s Class 153 livery. You set a great example for the rest of Britain to follow. I wish you all well

  2. Quite a nice livery. Well done ScotRail. Perhaps they could do the same to the Class 158 Sprinter and Class 170 Turbostar DMUs. And on the Class 43 “Inter7City” Mk3 HSTs, Class 318, Class 320, Class 334 Juniper, Class 380 Desiro and Class 385 AT200 Commuter EMUs.


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