T2 train spotted in central belt
First of new trains undergoing night testing
Testing has begun on the first of a new fleet of 70 trains that will be phased into ScotRail services from September.
Coincidentally, like the newly-released movie, it is known as T2, and real trainspotters have an opportunity to see it operate overnight.
This is to avoid disrupting any of the 2,800 services that run each day in Scotland.
Introduction of the fleet of Hitachi-built units should overcome many of the breakdowns and over-capacity issues currently blighting services.
Ian McConnell, programmes and transformation director for the ScotRail Alliance, said: “It’s fantastic to have the first of our new trains actually running on Scotland’s railway as this means we are one step closer to making them available to our customers.”
The train will be fully tested on the network to ensure it interacts properly with railway infrastructure such as signals and overhead lines.
T2 is not yet fitted with seats and tables so sandbags are being used to provide the correct weight.”
In the second phase of testing, the new fleet will be allowed to operate on the network alongside other trains.
That is likely to begin in the spring on two routes from Edinburgh to North Berwick and to Glasgow via Falkirk High.
Transport minister Humza Yousaf said: “This is another significant step towards delivering more reliable trains and much more capacity across the Scottish network.
“I have already seen the train up close and I know passengers will be looking forward to travelling on the new fleet.
“This will play a major part in delivering more than 23% extra seats on ScotRail services by 2019, but we are of course working hard with the industry to do more before then to address capacity issues.”
The new trains are being built by Hitachi Rail Europe in Newton Aycliffe, County Durham.
Video footage of the train night testing can be viewed at www.scotrail.co.uk/newtrains