MSP enters row over North trains being shunted to the Borders

Class 158 row could see trains moved from north to the Borders
Class 158 row could see trains moved from north to the Borders

MODERN SCOTRAIL TRAINS could be switched from service in the north to bolster a new rail line linking the Scottish Borders with Edinburgh.

Abellio ScotRail is reported to be considering transferring rolling stock from the north to the new line when it opens to the public later this year.

Refurbished Class 158 trains running from Inverness are the most up to date of their kind being used by the rail service, with additional bike and luggage space.

However, fears are being expressed that with only one of its Borders fleet being upgraded in time for the September opening, campaigners are calling for the transfer of the higher quality trains to promote the new line.

Highlands and Islands MSP Rhoda Grant said: “There is concern over the potential redeployment of Class 158 that that service the north railway lines to the new Borders Railway.

“It is unfair that rail passengers in the north have waited so long to get upgraded carriages – only for them to be taken away again to pander to those in the Borders. It seems to be a case where the further north you go the worse the services becomes.”

The general secretary of the rail workers union RMT said that the situation underlined the “chronic shortage” of the rail fleet throughout the UK, while an Abellio ScotRail spokesman said: “All of ScotRail’s Class 158 trains will undergo refurbishment which will see many improvements.”