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REVEALED: ScotRail's first sports traveller carriage has livery inspired by Highlands

By Tom Ramage

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ScotRail has unveiled the livery design for its first active travel carriage, designated for carrying bikes and large sporting equipment on one of Scotland’s most scenic routes.

Designed by Scottish artist, Peter McDermott, the eye-catching livery depicts typical Highland scenery along with some of the best-known visible landmarks along the West Highland Line, including the Glenfinnan monument and viaduct, Skye Cuillin mountain range, Ben Lomond, and the castle on Loch Awe.

The colourful new livery
The colourful new livery

Five Class 153 trains are being transformed to carry up to 20 bikes to enhance existing ScotRail services on the West Highland Line initially, providing custom designed racks to accommodate bikes, sporting equipment and large items of luggage as well as more seats for customers.

The trains will also support winter sports in Scotland during the winter months, accommodating large bulky items such as ski bags and rucksacks, and undergoing a full interior and exterior refresh including installation of free WiFi, at seat power sockets and a refurbished toilet with controlled emission toilet (CET) tank.

The first carriage is due for completion later this year when the refurbishment programme can fully resume following the current Coronavirus pandemic, and will enter service once staff can be safely trained on the carriages.

Tom Smith, ScotRail Project Manager, said: “We’re delighted to be able to share the exterior design of our first active travel carriage.

“Peter McDermott’s eye-catching design pays real homage to the beautiful and tranquil West Highland Line.

“We’re living in uncertain times, but when these carriages are eventually introduced, it will be a welcome boost for cyclists and those in search of outdoor pursuits along Scotland’s most scenic railways.”

Peter McDermott, artist and designer of ScotRail’s Class 153 livery, said: "It was a great pleasure to have been asked to produce this illustration.

"Particularly as my own illustrative style is directly inspired by such artists as Norman Wilkinson and Tom Purvis, who among others, were responsible for the much-loved railway art of the 1930s and 40s.

"Their work was confined to train compartments and poster hoardings, but fortunately for me I’ve had the unique opportunity to work on a much larger canvas, which now allows this iconic illustrative style to travel through, and contribute to the very landscape we’ve all sought to interpret.

"I hope they would be as delighted as I am with the end result."

Bill Reeve, Transport Scotland’s Director of Rail, said: “It is exciting to see the finalised design for these Class 153 carriages, one which incorporates the beauty of the Scottish landscape whilst clearly promoting their active travel purpose.

"This comes as a result of close collaboration between the artist Peter McDermott and ScotRail.

“We look forward to seeing what are sure to become iconic carriages enter passenger service in the future, once we have reached more certain times in our current phased exit from COVID-19 lockdown.”

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