SCOTRAIL have been accused of inflicting the “Dad’s Army” of the rail fleet on passengers.

The Transport and Salaried Staffs’ Association criticised the franchise holder Abellio after further delays emerged with the delivery of refurbished, 40-year-old 125 trains.

Originally due to start running in May, then delayed to July, the first of the trains are now due to start in September at the earliest on the Edinburgh-Aberdeen route.

Further trains are supposed to serve routes from Edinburgh and Glasgow to Aberdeen and Inverness by next may, but there is no fixed timetable for them to start service.

The new rolling stock is intended to put four and five-carriage trains on lines which are currently served by trains as short as two carriages.

TSSA union leader Manuel Cortes said the Scottish Government should have insisted on new stock instead of giving passengers a ride “on museum pieces”.

He said: “Scotland’s railways deserve better than the ‘make do and mend’ culture we see.

“These trains were due in May but don’t look likely to start running until at least September.

“Intercity 125 trains were a tremendous feat of engineering back in the 1970s.

“Sadly, the units that have now made their way to ScotRail are the “Dad’s Army” of the fleet. “These trains should be heading to the junk yard rather than be used to link Scotland's central belt with the North and the Highlands.”

The 125s were previously running on the Great Western Railway in Southern England

Upgrading the existing ScotRail fleet is a franchise requirement.

ScotRail said the TSSA had made a number of inaccurate claims about the 125s' components, but acknowledged there had been a hold-up.

A spokesman said the 2006 diesel engines would be the newest in the ScotRail fleet, and the delay was caused by the refurbishment at Wabtec Rail in Doncaster.