Glasgow & West Scotland

New electric trains to start running next week

Class 385 trains Image copyright PA
Image caption A flatter windscreen has been fitted to the new trains

The first of a new batch of electric trains will start running between Glasgow and Edinburgh next week, ScotRail has announced.

The new class 385 trains were expected to enter service in March, but drivers raised concerns about the windscreen design.

ScotRail is now satisfied the trains are safe and the first trains will run from Tuesday.

Hitachi is building a total of 70 class 385 trains for ScotRail.

The remainder of the new trains for that route (Queen Street to Waverley via Falkirk High) will be phased in over the coming months, before the rollout is extended to other central belt routes.

ScotRail said the trains are part of its £475m investment in rolling stock, following the £858m electrification of the line between the two cities by Network Rail Scotland.

Karen Boswell, managing director of Hitachi Rail Europe, said: "When passengers step on board this first train they'll find it light, spacious and modern with loads more seats - up to 130 extra compared to the existing diesel trains.

"And there is more to come. Our UK factory is working tirelessly to deliver the rest of the fleet, which will allow the current 51-minute journey time from Edinburgh and Glasgow to be cut by up to a fifth.

"Thanks to their high-quality Japanese engineering, these trains have the best 0-60mph acceleration of any in Scotland."

ScotRail Alliance managing director Alex Hynes said: "This is a significant moment as we work to build the best railway Scotland has ever had."

The train drivers' union Aslef raised concerns in February that the curved windscreens of the trains could lead to confusing signal reflections.

The union warned that its drivers would refuse to operate the trains unless modifications were made.

A new flatter design of windscreen has now been fitted.

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