TRAINS will be wrapped in plastic and given power showers this winter to avoid snow chaos.
Rail bosses have spent £2 million on the scheme to ensure services keep running.
They also pledged to keep travellers better informed by providing a free text message system, and to improve access to stations.
ScotRail is to hold road shows at stations across the country to highlight their winter plan and to encourage passengers to plan ahead.
The firm’s director of customer services, Jacqueline Taggart, said: “There is no doubt services will be disrupted if there is a repeat of the extreme conditions experienced last year. However we will do all we can to keep people informed and to take care of them.”
The company will be the first in theUKto use “power showers”, which are regularly used inFinland, at its depots to remove snow and ice from the underside of trains.
The hot water sprinkler network is used to melt ice and allow maintenance and safety checks to be carried out more quickly
Polythene tunnels, each 75 metres long, will provide a controlled warm environment to de-ice trains and can clear three carriages in under two hours, compared to the usual six hours.
The company website will feature a new “traffic light” system to allow commuters to see which routes are running normally and customers can register to receive text alerts. In the event of travel disruption, the company Twitter feed will be active longer to provide help.
Staffed stations have been issued with new-style shovels and snow ploughs to help clear walkways and platforms and equipment used by roving maintenance teams has been increased.
Transport minister Keith Brown said: “Thinking ahead and being prepared for winter at home, on transport networks and within local communities is something everyone can do.
That’s why we welcome ScotRail’s efforts to place customer information and investment in service resilience at the forefront of their efforts.
“By keeping trains moving and providing better information, the rail industry can minimise disruption while getting people on the move as quickly as possible when it does occur.”