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ScotRail bike train plans take shape

ScotRail’s plan to provide Class 153 diesel units dedicated to carrying bicycles on West Highland services has taken a step forward, with the release of a series of pictures showing how the converted units could look.

In conjunction with Transport Scotland, ScotRail is examining the possibility of using several of the single-car diesel units displaced from services in England. They are compatible with ScotRail’s Class 156 units that ply the line between Glasgow Queen Street and Fort William, Oban and Mallaig. In summer, these services are very busy with great demand to carry bikes.

ScotRail spokesman John Beaton stressed to RAIL that the project was in its early stages and that while the illustrations (used in an internal briefing) showed how the Class 153s could look, their design was not finalised.

“We’re some way off the tender process,” he said, adding that there was no firm date for any entry into service.

Previous Scottish transport ministers have called for the bike coaches to be in service next summer. ScotRail’s illustrations also show skis being carried to give the Class 153s a winter role.

  • For the FULL story, read RAIL 867 available now, and available digitally on Android, iPad and Kindle.

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