By Hugh Dougherty
ScotRail says that its long-serving Class 314 EMUs are to be withdrawn during 2018 as its new, Hitachi-built, Class 385 trains come into service on the Cathcart Circle, Newton and Neilston routes.
However, train owner Angel Trains said that it will lay a unit aside for preservation.
The pending departure of the faithful 314s has been flagged up to passengers with specially designed notices on the sets themselves, as these classic, electric traction units come closer to working their final journeys on the Glasgow suburban network.
Sixteen units were built by BR at York in 1979 specially for the reopening of Glasgow’s Argyle Line, and the class immediately impressed the travelling public with its comfort, speed and efficiency. The units are a variant of the then-standard BR electric multiple unit design, and close cousins of the 313 and 315 classes, built for the London area.
In 2002, the Glasgow Shields Road Depot-based units replaced the last of the classic Glasgow ‘Blue Trains’, the Class 303s, on the Cathcart Circle, Neilston and Newton suburban lines.
Since then, their three- and six-car formations have provided the bulk of the trains on these routes, carrying thousands of commuters to work daily, as well as crowds of local school children under contract, and providing mass transport to Hampden Park for football fans on match days.
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