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

New Jobs & Dedicated Fleet to Improve ScotRail Services in the Highlands

ScotRail is to base a dedicated fleet of trains at Inverness depot to improve the performance and reliability of its services in the Highlands. From the end of September Inverness depot will take over the maintenance of 20 Class 158 trains, creating at least eight new engineering jobs for the city. ScotRail Managing Director Peter Cotton and Engineering Director Ian Mylroi visited Inverness in September to update staff on these new arrangements. ScotRail's fleet of 40 Class 158s is currently maintained at Haymarket Depot in Edinburgh.

At present the trains operate between Inverness and Aberdeen, Kyle and Thurso/Wick, but return to Edinburgh to be maintained. The move to Inverness will allow local ScotRail staff to react more quickly to any problems in the area and is expected to have a positive impact on performance on Highland routes. ScotRail has taken the decision to expand the depot's role following a review of maintenance facilities which identified how the company could manage its fleet more efficiently. Eight new engineers have been recruited and are due to start within the next two weeks with more to come in the new year.

"Services in the Highland are very important to ScotRail and we have been looking at ways to in which we can improve journey quality for our customers," says Peter Cotton, ScotRail Managing Director. "We have a very experienced team at Inverness who have demonstrated their commitment to the business and to our customers," says Ian Mylroi. "I am sure that they are looking forward to the challenge of managing this fleet." ScotRail fleet of 158's has recently undergone a programme of performance modifications funded by the Strategic Rail Authority's Rail Performance Fund.

ScotRail press release