Latest Rail News

27.01.16

First Hitachi Class 385 train for ScotRail fleet under construction

Hitachi has previewed the first bodyshell of the Class 385 fleet it is building for ScotRail in Kasado, Japan.

The first EMU in the 70-train order is now under construction ahead of the first 24 trains entering service in 2017 and the remainder of the new fleet by early 2019. The first seven of the EMUs will be built in Japan, with the remaining 63 at Hitachi’s Newton Aycliffe plant, visited by RTM – the main construction base for the InterCity Programme bi-mode Class 800s.

The Japanese firm was named Abellio’s preferred bidder for new electric trains just one day after it was awarded the ScotRail franchise in October 2014.

Andy Barr, Hitachi Rail Europe’s chief operating officer, said at the time that this was Hitachi’s first order for its AT200 commuter train design.

PC160122 trim 385 bodyshell1

They will feature 23m-long cars, end gangways, a maximum speed of 160km/h and a design life of 35 years.

The fleet will form 46 three-car trains and 24 four-car trains to run on the electrified Edinburgh-Glasgow line, Scotland’s busiest route, as well as on the Stirling-Alloa-Dunblane lines.

The contract also comes with 10 years of maintenance and a guarantee from the Scottish Government that the trains will be used for at least 25 years, after which point it could buy the entire fleet for a nominal £1.

When the contract was first signed, Scotland’s transport minister, Derek Mackay MSP, said the fleet’s benefits would extend far beyond extra capacity.

“The use of electric trains on Scotland's busiest route will help reduce our carbon footprint,” he said.

“The improved journey times and connection can only be good for our two biggest cities. And the innovative contract has reduced the cost of the finance, as well as guaranteeing a great deal for Scotland in the longer term.”

Comments

Huguenot   27/01/2016 at 17:47

How thoroughly ugly! Has Hitachi sacked all its designers? I'm surprised that ScotRail or the Scottish Government are prepared to put up with that! (And it's not the gangway connections that are the problem.)

Andrew G   27/01/2016 at 21:07

Similar to what Siemens have built the Class 380 Desiro trains.

The Engineer   29/01/2016 at 21:12

Interesting first glimpse!! It is very difficult to make a sexy front-end design when a gangway connection is involved. But this looks to be much better than the 380s already. Can't wait to see the finished article!

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