scotland (4K)
The Friends of the Far North Line
Cairdean Na Loine Tuath
the campaign group for rail north of Inverness - lobbying for improved services for the local user, tourist and freight operator

The New Generation - Turbostar

ScotRail purchased and introduced the new class 170 Turbostar three-car trains, on the Edinburgh-Glasgow service, and have since extended their sphere of operation to Aberdeen. Built by Adtranz at Derby and capable of 100mph speeds, these have proved deservedly popular with the public.

September 25th sees the introduction of these units on certain services between Inverness and Edinburgh, timetabled to reduce the run by half an hour, and on Friday 28 July ScotRail invited a broad range of 'interested parties' to sample the new train by joining a crew-training run from Inverness to Perth and back.

The Turbostar is certainly very impressive. Externally sleek and internally very well appointed, the ride compares well with GNER electric and diesel expresses and acceleration and braking are remarkable. The stiff climb out of Inverness was well handled, and later on, breasting the two major summits it was only the reverse curvature that limited our speed of descent. Making the customary intermediate stops, it was all the more remarkable to find the magic 'ton' achieved between Aviemore and Kingussie, which we might not have noticed had the PA system not alerted us, so steady was the ride.

On train service was immaculate and, with several ScotRail and Adtranz officials on board, there was ample opportunity for the exchange of ideas. All in all, a very pleasant and stimulating experience.

We would like to thank ScotRail for their hospitality and the opportunity to take part in this exercise. We look forward eagerly to the introduction of these trains in regular service.

Keith Tyler