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Mock-up on display at station

ScotRail unveils faster, greener trains of the future

Phil Verster 1A life-size model was unveiled on Edinburgh’s Waverley station today showing the interior of ScotRail’s flagship new fleet.

The model provides visitors with a glimpse of the seating and tables that will be used in the trains when they are introduced into passenger service from autumn 2017. Customer service staff will be on hand to answer the public’s questions while the exhibit remains in place until early March.

Seventy new trains are at the core of a £475 million improvement programme that will see 90% of Scotland’s fleet either new or refurbished.

The new electric vehicles – currently under construction by Hitachi Rail in Japan and in County Durham – will offer thousands of extra seats, faster journeys, improved accessibility, at-seat power points and better wifi.

The deal is worth £370m and gives the Scottish Government the option to buy the full fleet for £1 after 25 years.

The trains will cut the journey time between Glasgow and Edinburgh from 52 to 42 minutes because electric trains have better acceleration. They will cut the current carbon footprint by 21%.

They will be longer, enabling each train to carry more passengers, and some will be fitted with selective door opening for accessing shorter platforms.

Customers who travel on the line between Edinburgh and Glasgow via Falkirk High will be the first to benefit.

Other routes to receive the new trains between 2017 and 2019 include:

·        Glasgow/Edinburgh – Stirling / Dunblane / Alloa

·        Edinburgh – North Berwick

·        Glasgow Central – Neilston /Newton /Cathcart Circle

·        Edinburgh – Glasgow Central via Shotts

Trains / Carriages / Formations

70 new trains:   234 carriages made up of 24 x 4-cars and 46 x 3-cars

The Class 385s will be able to operate in three, four, six, seven and eight car formations, providing much more flexibility to match demand with capacity.

Unlike the existing class 170 trains, the class 385 will have ‘through’ gangways between all coaches so that every part of the train can be accessed from the inside.


4-car trains have 273 seats [257+16 tip-up]

3-car trains have 206 seats [190+16 tip-up]

More bay seating (four seats around a table)

Customer Benefits

·        Power sockets (at each pair of seats in standard class and one per seat in first class)

·        Free wifi throughout the train

·        Three areas to store luggage:  smaller items in racks (overhead) and between seats; larger items in stacking areas at the end of each carriage.  There are five luggage stacks in the 4-car trains, and four in three cars.

·        2 x dedicated cycle spaces in a clearly marked area

·        Flexible multi-use area (prams, bikes etc)

·        Seats are more closely lined up to windows

·        Two toilets (one accessible)

·        Large interior information screens

·        Destination indicators on the side of the train (so can be seen by customers on platforms)

·        A new passenger counting system will record people entering and leaving the train.  The system will be linked to platform screens and the ScotRail app to highlight to passengers waiting on platforms where they may be more space on board.

·        Electric trains give a smoother and quieter experience


·        2 x wheelchair spaces (in main saloon)

·        Accessible toilet in every train

·        Priority seats beside vestibules

·        Wheelchair area has pull-up tables

·        Fully compliant with TSI PRM (technical specification for interoperability for persons with reduced mobility)

First Class

·        20 first class seats in every 4-car (with own entrance).  None in 3-cars.

·        On the Falkirk High route, most peak trains will operate as 8-car trains, providing 40 first class seats.

Transport Minister Derek Mackay, said:  “These new 100mph electric trains are being custom made for Scotland’s railways. They will be larger, faster and greener and will allow passengers to travel in greater comfort than ever before when they are rolled out across central belt routes later next year. Once fully in service, there will be more ScotRail trains on the network than ever before.

“They will enable ScotRail to deliver its franchise contractual commitments to significantly increase capacity on the main Edinburgh-Glasgow route by providing much more seating on peak services from late 2017.

“This is another part of the Scottish Government’s £5 billion investment in the rail network, which includes £475 million to enhance rolling stock, ensuring that rail capacity and the on train environment keeps pace with the increasing public demand for services. I would encourage anyone close to Edinburgh Waverley station to come and see what their new trains will be like.”

Phil Verster, managing director of the ScotRail Alliance, said: “This model gives our customers a glimpse into a future that, by next autumn, will be a reality.  They will transform travel between our two biggest cities.

“This is all part of our largest ever train improvement programme. Over the next few years we will be spending £475 million on these new trains, refurbishing most of our existing fleet and introducing great benefits like enhanced wifi and at-seat power sockets.

He added that the alliance with Network Rail, which has seen the two working more closely together in Scotland since last May, is being watched “by the industry” around the UK.

“It brings massive practical benefits,” he said. A joint approach is being applied to the tunnelling and platform work due to commence at Queen St station in Glasgow next month.

Verster, Boswell and MackayMr Verster said: “In just a few weeks our engineers will start work at Queen Street station that will allow us to run these amazing new trains. We are doing everything we can to give people the information they need to keep moving while we complete this work. I know that when people see this model of their new train, they will understand the huge benefits that are heading their way.”

Dominic Booth, managing director of Abellio UK, said: “We commenced the official procurement process for this new fleet of trains in August 2013 which was 19 months before we took over the ScotRail franchise. The arrival of the Hitachi Class 385 is a major milestone and a testimony to the hard work that has gone into this by all parties.”

Karen Boswell, managing director of Hitachi Rail Europe, said:  “It’s fantastic that fare-paying customers are able to experience at first-hand the on-board improvements that Hitachi’s new trains for Scotland will deliver to their daily commuting lives.

“Hitachi is proud to have such an important role in a long-term partnership with ScotRail and Transport Scotland in boosting rail services in Scotland, and we are equally delighted that the Class 385s will be made at our new manufacturing facility in Newton Aycliffe, boosting jobs in the North East of England and the wider UK supply chain.”

Photos: (top) Derek Mackay, Phil Verster and Karen Boswell on board the life-size model of the new train (by Terry Murden)

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