Highlands & Islands

ScotRail launch 'bike carriages' on West Highland line

West Highland line Image copyright Getty Images
Image caption The West Highland line is one of the world's most spectacular rail routes

Dedicated carriages for bikes are to be introduced on one of Scotland's most scenic rail routes.

ScotRail is transforming five Class 153 trains to carry up to 20 bikes on the West Highland line.

The trains will also support winter sports in Scotland and can accommodate large bulky items such as ski bags and rucksacks.

ScotRail project manager Tom Smith said: "This innovative pilot is the first of its type in the UK."

The carriages, which will be modified by Brodie Engineering in Kilmarnock, will also receive a full interior and exterior refresh including the installation of free WiFi, power sockets and a refurbished toilet.

Image copyright ScotRail
Image caption The new carriages will be launched next year

The first refurbished Class 153 carriage is due for delivery in 2020 and will be gradually rolled into service on the completion of staff training.

Mr Smith added: "This project will support tourism, and bring wider economic benefits, along Scotland's most scenic railways."

Transport Scotland director of rail Bill Reeve said: "This unique initiative will provide an affordable and accessible way to access the great outdoors and support more people to make active travel choices whilst delivering wider economic benefits for Scotland."