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21 December 2015, 15:55
A £475 million ScotRail programme to improve train capacity, accessibility and wifi has been announced.
The seven-year project will see 75% of trains refurbished or replaced and a number of high-speed trains will also be introduced.
About 180 new carriages are to be added to the fleet, 346 trains to be fitted with free wifi and more than 17,000 power points added to carriages.
ScotRail Alliance managing director Phil Verster said it was the biggest improvement programme in the company's history.
"I know that one of the biggest issues concerning our customers is busy trains,'' Mr Verster said.
"I hope, with the programme we are announcing today, people will see we are taking action.
"Alongside the massive projects we are currently delivering, this programme will bring more seats, shorter journey times and a rail service that is better for our environment.
"We are not just about running metal boxes up and down tracks. We want to connect people with jobs, business with customers and tourists with destinations.
"Our vision of connecting Scotland is about using the railway to help our country to grow and prosper. The transformation of our fleet in the next few years will help deliver that.''
Eversholt Rail is carrying out the refurbishment programme.
Transport minister Derek Mackay said: "The Scottish Government wants to see more people choose to leave their car at home and make use of public transport.
"That is why we are investing a record £5 billion in our rail network, including significant improvements to rolling stock, to ensure that infrastructure keeps pace with demand and that Scotland's rail passengers are offered the very best value for money.
"When completed, this major train improvement programme will mean that 75% of trains on our railways are either brand new or newly-refurbished, meaning all passengers across the network will have access to more modern, comfortable and accessible trains.''