BR Mk.3SD Coaches
Introduced between 1975 and 1988 being designed from the outset to run at 125mph, the Mark 3 coach is widely acknowledged as being the safest, most reliable and the most comfortable of the British Rail standard coaching stock designs, with much of the fleet being in mainline operation until 2017.
Despite this, the Mk3 coaches do not meet the Technical Specification for Interoperability for Persons of Restricted Mobility (TSI-PRM) requirements that need to be in place by 2020 with the slam doors, low back seating and grab rails all failing the specifications, as do the toilets which are not just unsuitable for PRM, but lack retention tanks.
To rectify this, Wabtec Doncaster are refurbishing nearly 200 Mk3 coaches for GWR, ScotRail and CrossCountry Trains, fitting them with new external power-operated sliding doors manufactured by Vapor Stone Rail Systems, part of the Wabtex Group. With a simple electric worm drive and over-centre lock, the doors have proved to be highly reliable in testing and their fitment relatively straightforward.
The interiors, where necessary, have been modified and modern controlled emission toilets from Semvac fitted. Passenger Information System fitting and seating upgrades have also been completed, some by TOCs and some by Wabtec.
The first set was released for testing by GWR during mid-March 2018, being based at Plymouth Laira, followed by test sets for ScotRail (July 2018) and CrossCountry Trains (September 2018).