The Anonymous Widower

A Train for the Highlands

We have a rolling stock crisis in the UK, with not enough of the right kinds of trains. One manifestation is that we’re still using obsolete Pacers, as I found on my way to Scunthorpe.

Between Inverness and Kyle of Lochlash and between Mallaig and Fort William, the trains were not in bad condition, but they were too small and overcrowded, as I suspect they are on many branch lines and especially those to places worth a visit, like say Great Yarmouth.

Alan Williams in his column in Modern Railways, says that there are surplus diesel locomtives in good condition and quite a few rakes of Mk. 3 coaches.  He advocates using these to replace the Pacers.  I wouldn’t, but would use them to replace the trains I rode in Scotland and other scenic and other lines to release fairly modern units to kill off the Pacers.

If you take the Scottish Highland routes, they could be developed into a tourist attraction in their own right.  How about?

  • Wi-fi evetywhere.
  • Perhaps a Dining/Buffet Car in Summer.  Aren’t there some Mk 3 ones about?
  • At seat trolley service.
  • Low density seating.
  • Wide windows for the view.  What would Health and Safety say?
  • Bicycle racks

October 1, 2010 - Posted by | Transport | ,

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