Rail franchises operators & contracts

18.03.19

New Hitachi 385s to replace ScotRail’s ‘happy trains’

ScotRail has confirmed that it is withdrawing its Class 365 ‘happy trains’ fleet and replacing them with new Hitachi Class 385s.

The train operator said the new Class 385s will be introduced on the newly electrified Central Belt, delivering faster journeys on more reliable trains than the current units.

ScotRail introduced 10 Class 365s last summer as a temporary measure ahead of the arrival of the new fleet, and the company said that the first has already been withdrawn from service.

The remaining units will be phased out this week, and ScotRail said the happy trains, named due to their yellow front and curved grill, had added an extra 17,200 extra seats each day on the Glasgow to Edinburgh via Falkirk route.

Last month, ScotRail announced that the new Hitachi electric trains were to be rolled out across Glasgow as it extended its £475m investment into rolling stock.

The new Class 385 trains were launched at the end of 2018, but the new timetable was plagued with signalling faults and staffing shortages.

Abellio, which runs ScotRail, was forced to apologise after receiving a flood of complaints regarding cancellations and longer journeys.

The operator has also received two separate improvement notices in less than two months after it failed to meet contractual targets, with Transport Scotland issuing a ‘remedial plan notice’.

The head of customer operations for ScotRail, Phil Campbell, said: “The Class 365 happy trains were a welcome addition to the ScotRail family, but it’s now time for them to be replaced.

“Over the next week, we’ll withdraw the happy trains from service and replace them with more of our brand-new Class 385s, which will deliver faster journeys and a more reliable service for our customers.”

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