Stocking up

Murray Duncan (Letters, 
23 December) is spot-on in his assessment of the fairytales spun to us rail travellers about modern rolling stock.

The displacement of the splendid Mark 3 carriages from 1989 onwards and their replacement by cheap and nasty ScotRail trains is a matter of historic fact. What’s also fact are the promises rolled out by our national rail operators about how wonderful the 158s and the successor 170s would be. If ever there was a case of a railway emperor having no clothes, it lies with the utterly naked 170s. The plight suffered by us everyday long-distance travellers is met with inaction by Transport Scotland.

As First ScotRail always tell us how important it takes the subject of customer care, one might have expected First ScotRail to take up the matter of extreme passenger discomfort with Transport Scotland.

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But no – First ScotRail managing director Steve Montgomery tells me that he doesn’t and won’t raise this matter with Transport Scotland.

I’ve said before that the forthcoming franchise of 2015 presents us with a once-in-a-generation opportunity to create trains for Scotland that are fit for long-distance purpose. Given the customer care record of First ScotRail and the inaction by Transport Scotland, I’ll not hold my breath.




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