Kilmarnock based Brodie Engineering are set to transform five Class 153 trains to enhance existing services on the West Highland Line, one of Scotland’s most scenic routes.
Designated carriages for up to 20 bikes are to be introduced, providing custom designed racks to accommodate bikes, sporting equipment and large items of luggage as well as more seats for customers, a first for the UK rail industry.
The trains will also support winter sports in Scotland during the winter months, accommodating large bulky items such as ski bags and rucksacks.
Brodie Engineering, situated in Munro Place in Kilmarnock, will carry out work which includes giving carriages a full interior and exterior refresh, the installation of free WiFi, at seat power sockets and a refurbished toilet with controlled emission toilet (CET) tank.
The aim of this project is to encourage more people to choose active travel options such as cycling and supports Scottish infrastructure, moving people away from car use and onto greener modes of transport such as trains.
The first transformed train will enter service in 2020, with a further 4 set to follow in due course.
ScotRail Project Manager Tom Smith said, “This innovative pilot is the first of its type in the UK and we’re delighted to have come up with something truly bespoke for Scotland and the West Highlands.
“We are continually looking to enhance the experience our customers have when travelling on our trains, and the introduction of these carriages will be a welcome boost for cyclists and those in search of outdoor pursuits.
“This project will support tourism, and bring wider economic benefits, along Scotland’s most scenic railways.”
Transport Scotland Director of Rail Bill Reeve said, “This unique initiative will provide an affordable and accessible way to access the great outdoors and support more people to make active travel choices whilst delivering wider economic benefits for Scotland.
“It’s a very exciting time and we are another step closer to realising our ambitious Programme for Government commitment.”
Brodie Engineering Business Development Manager Jim Thomson said, “Everyone is absolutely delighted that yet another ambitious and exciting project is coming to life here at Brodie Engineering in Kilmarnock.
“Vehicle modification design is a core competency for our talented in-house engineering team and our highly skilled production team have extensive experience with Class 153s and the similar Class 155s, which we’ve been modifying for Northern over the past two years.
“The ability to design and manufacture on the same site really sets us apart from our competitors.”