Class 318 EMU

In 1986, around the same time as the second generation DMU's were being introduced, these BR-built four-car, 90 mile/h units were supplied to Glasgow Shields Road depot for the newly-electrified Ayr line.

Based at the depot for four months, the author was involved in the commissioning, trial running and introduction of these units. It was four years after the APT-P days and the staff on the depot had changed. We were in the company of engineers from Brush Traction of Loughborough, who supplied the traction package for the units and a few curries in the evening. Once more we stayed at the Sherbrooke Castle Hotel where the food was second to none, porridge and kippers for breakfast and 5-course dinners on a daily basis.

We did find a decent ale house in the Bon Accord on North Street which sold a lot of good beers and had a small Bistro type restaurant. A far cry from the old days in Scotland when the only beer available was Younger's Tartan bitter, and the pubs shut at 10pm. Yuck!

Following delivery from York Works the trains underwent several days of static commissioning at the depot and then went on a trial run usually to Carlisle and back for a shakedown.

The electric services to Ayr started in September 1986 and thanks to Steve Barnett I now include a few photos of the opening day and services at that time. Ironically I never got to Ayr during the whole time I was involved.

Click on the picture for a bigger image - photos are the author's unless otherwise credited


Introductory brochure issued by Scotrail

Author's collection

Ayr Unit 318250 stands in Ayr station after a demonstration run from Glasgow sometime in the summer of 1986

Tom Noble

318 at Glasgow Central

Later in the day it is pictured at the buffer stops in Glasgow Central

Tom Noble

Two class 318s and a class 87 'Robert Burns' at Ayr station. Most likely on the opening day of the new service. Note the miniature railway along the platform

Steve Barnett

318261 at Ayr

Steve Barnett

318251 at Johnstone

Steve Barnett

318251 at Johnstone

Steve Barnett

318262 en route

Steve Barnet

318 & 303 at Glasgow Central

318252 is ready to depart for Ayr whilst the 303 is preparing to go to Neilston Glasgow Central Another view of 318250 looking from the end of the platform at Central

318250 arriving at Carlisle after a test run from Glasgow on 31st July 1986

David Ford collection

318270 at Carlisle at the end of a test run from Glasgow Shields depot in April 1987

David Ford collection


318251 stands in the sunshine at Ayr having just arrived from Glasgow Central on 28th June 2011

Sherbrooke Castle

The Sherbrooke Castle Hotel in Pollockshields where we stayed and suffered numerous five course meals!

Sherbrooke Castle Hotel


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