Rail franchises operators & contracts

18.02.19

ScotRail expands new Hitachi electric trains to Glasgow routes

ScotRail’s new Hitachi electric trains are to be rolled out across Glasgow as the operator extends its £475m investment into rolling stock in the wake of its second improvement notice in two months from the government.

The new class 385 electric trains were launched at the end of 2018, but the new timetable introduced by ScotRail was plagued with signalling faults and staffing shortages.

Abellio, which runs ScotRail, was forced to apologise after receiving a flood of complaints following cancelled services and longer journeys, but the train operator said the new high-speed Hitachi trains will improve reliability, increase capacity, and allow for shorter journey times.

The rolling stock will, from today, also run on the Cathcart Circle and Central to Newton routes, running on weekday morning peak services.

This means the Class 385s are now operating on five separate routes, providing services between Glasgow and Edinburgh, the Stirling- Dunblane – Alloa route, and North Berwick.

Angus Thom, ScotRail’s chief operating officer, said: “I am delighted that we are able to introduce another brand-new Hitachi Class 385 train, this time leaving from Glasgow Central. We know that our customers will really notice the difference from today.

“The introduction of these trains are benefiting customers all across the country, as they allow us to move existing trains on this route out across the network. This is helping us to deliver faster journeys, more seats, and better services for our customers.”

The news follows ministers issuing ScotRail with its second improvement notice in two months after it failed to meet its contractual targets, with passenger satisfaction over 10% below its target.

Transport Scotland issued the company with a ‘remedy plan notice’ and pointed to delays and cancellations as the main reasons for unhappy passengers.

ScotRail said its £475m investment in rolling stock, following on from £860m spent on electrifying the line between Edinburgh and Glasgow by Network Rail, will see continued improvements across the country.

Further class 385s are also set to be introduced in the coming months and expanded on more routes.

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