Rolling stock

11.12.18

ScotRail brings in new Hitachi trains and services for disrupted timetable launch

New electric Class 385 trains and more than 100 new services have been introduced by ScotRail, but the launch of its new timetable has been plagued by signalling faults and staff shortages.

ScotRail says new electric and high-speed trains including Hitachi’s new Class 385 stock will allow shorter journey times, more seats and more services on updated routes as the TOC claims it is “building the best railway Scotland has ever had.”

But Abellio, which runs ScotRail, has been forced to apologise for the implementation of the new timetable after it was flooded with complaints about cancelled services and longer journey times.

A signalling fault and a shortage of train crews has led to replacement buses used on the first day and disruption between Glasgow, Edinburgh, and Aberdeen has caused anger on social media— but the delays have been mild compared to the chaotic scenes seen during the May timetable changes.

ScotRail declared its flagship rail link between Edinburgh and Glasgow will see the fastest time cut to just 42 minutes, as well as faster routes between Glasgow, Stirling, and Alloa as part of a £860m investment into upgrades.

More than 100 extra services will be provided, with nine new services between Inverness and Elgin and new services between Aberdeen and Montrose, Edinburgh and Arbroath and new half-hourly Edinburgh to Glasgow services using Hitachi’s new electric trains.

ScotRail say the timetable changes will also mean 65,000 extra seats will be provided on passenger trains via the new trains, extra services and extra carriages.

Alex Hynes, the managing director of ScotRail Alliance, said: “The improvements we are making to our timetable from Sunday mean some trains may depart a few minutes earlier or later than they presently do. Commuters in particular should check before Monday morning comes around.

"This is just the first phase of the work we are doing to deliver for our customers over the next year."

More timetable changes are expected in May and December 2019.

Top image: ScotRail

 

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