Scotland

Technical fault puts new ScotRail trains out of service

Electric trains Image copyright SNS/PA
Image caption The new class 385 electric trains are being used for Edinburgh-Glasgow via Falkirk High services

ScotRail has withdrawn its newest trains from service following the discovery of a technical fault.

The fault was identified on Thursday on one of the Hitachi class 385 electric trains, introduced to the fleet in July.

A spokesman for ScotRail confirmed all three 385 trains in passenger service have been removed for testing.

It is understood this led to a shortage of carriages on the main Edinburgh-Glasgow line on Friday morning.

ScotRail chief operating officer Angus Thom has apologised to any passengers whose journeys have been disrupted.

He said: "The brand new Hitachi class 385 electric trains have been operating well since their introduction in July.

"A technical fault was identified on one of the trains on Thursday, which Hitachi is now investigating.

"We are sorry to any customers whose journey was disrupted as a result of this.

"As a precaution, while Hitachi carries out further testing, we are restricting the use of class 385 trains."

'Yet another letdown'

In July, ScotRail said there were due to be 70 of the new class 385 electric trains running in the central belt by early next year.

A Transport Scotland spokeswoman said Hitachi will test the entire class 385 fleet.

Image copyright SNS Group Ross Brownlee/ PA Wire
Image caption The current three class 385 trains have been pulled while testing is carried out

"ScotRail has made us aware a technical issue was encountered on one of the new class 385s," she said.

"As is normal in such circumstances, particularly with new trains, Hitachi will test the entire c385 fleet as a precaution to ensure reliable operation.

"It is imperative this testing is completed quickly, but thoroughly, to ensure the c385s can get back into service as soon as possible.

"Passengers should check the ScotRail website, apps and Twitter for travel updates."

Scottish Liberal Democrat transport spokesman Mike Rumbles described the situation as "yet another let-down for Scotland's rail users".

He added: "Commuters will be dismayed to see the first trains from the new Hitachi fleet, introduced with great fanfare just weeks ago, taken out of action.

"The trains we have already are over-packed, the long-distance trains promised are running late and are set to come into action without being refurbished first, and now the new trains have been taken off the rails too. It's a bleak outlook.

"The Transport Secretary needs to get to grips with the catalogue of errors that hold up our rail network and get ScotRail back on track."

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