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Hitachi unveils first finished ScotRail Class 385

Hitachi has produced the first finished Class 385 commuter train that is set to be rolled out in Scotland from its factory in Newton Aycliffe.

The first of the 70 new units, fully completed with interiors, was planned to be split between 46 three-car and 24 four-car trains.

The EMU stock is part of Transport Scotland’s Edinburgh Glasgow Improvement Programme (EGIP) and each train will offer wi-fi throughout, as well as improved luggage space.

As well as the Edinburgh-Glasgow route, the cars are also expected to travel between Stirling, Alloa and Dunblane.

“It’s fantastic to see the first of our new trains, built in Britain, roll off the production line,” said Ian McConnell, ScotRail alliance programme and transformations director, who spoke to RTM last year about the new trains and wrote about them once again for us this year as part of an update. “With bright, modern, contemporary finishes, the Class 385 will significantly improve the experience of customers travelling with us – whether that’s for business or for leisure.

“We’re focused on delivering a railway that Scotland can be truly proud of and these new trains will play a significant part in that.”

Class 385 production

The Class 385s have electrical capabilities, meaning they accelerate faster to reduce journey times and cause less noise pollution.

Ross Nagle, chief operating officer (Manufacturing) at Hitachi Rail Europe, added: “Today we celebrate the first commuter trains we have built here in the North East.

“This is a step closer to passengers travelling between Edinburgh and Glasgow feeling the benefits of shorter journeys, more seats and modern technology.

“We’re delighted to welcome the Class 385 – a modern, high-tech commuter train – into the Hitachi Rail family. Like all our trains it is inspired by Japanese bullet train design, but built with British know-how.”

RTM's October/November edition, set to hit desks on 31 October, will include an interview with ScotRail Alliance boss Alex Hynes, which will feature more information on the Class 385s as well as the rest of the improvement programmes taking place across Scotland. Subscribe to receive a free copy here.

Have you got a story to tell? Would you like to become an RTM columnist? If so, click here.


Dave   13/10/2017 at 13:08

I thought windscreen glass had to be flat, surely that curved glass risks distorting the driver's view of signals?

Allhailthegwilt   13/10/2017 at 13:43

Wouldn't these be nice for the Marks Tey-Sudbury branch?

PP   13/10/2017 at 14:07

@Allhailthegwilt Cheeky! :)

Henry Law   13/10/2017 at 14:08

I wonder what nickname they will pick up? Wee Piggie Wiggies, but that is too long.

PP   13/10/2017 at 14:17

They are certainly odd-looking beasts with a number of features that don't seem to sit together very well, but ultimately I suspect they'll be an improvement on the 170. Nothing particularly wrong with 170s, but these will be quieter, faster, cleaner and have quite a few more seats in them, so as a daily user of the E&G, no complaints from me.

Mikeb   13/10/2017 at 15:39

@allhailthegwilt..Wait 'till he reads this article - feathers will then fly!

Scottie   13/10/2017 at 16:53

These new units will be unlikely to win any design awards for their front ends. However if all seats align with windows, they have a 2+2 seating configuration, and are gang-wayed within they will certainly get my vote ! *** Greater Anglia specification team please take note *** Possible Nicknames "the Grouse" or "Blue-Bottles" as their front ends remind me of said fly ( + they are blue livery )

John Grant   13/10/2017 at 17:13

@Dave: the pic seems to have been taken with a wide-angle lens; the glass might actually be flat. I agree they look uglier than, say, the 379/387 from outside, but for most passengers it's the inside that's important.

Boris   13/10/2017 at 18:32

Bwahahahaha. I'm setting an alarm for 1am tonight.

Andrew Gwilt   13/10/2017 at 20:11

Saids the person who uses my surname. No these won’t be used on the Marks Tey-Sudbury line you dimwit. How can these Class 385’s be used on that line which isn’t electrified. Unless you were joking. Anyways I do hope that the Class 385’s will enter service next year. Be good to see these new trains in operation.

Boris   13/10/2017 at 20:56

Haha. As if he was actually considering the possibility.

Andrew Gwilt   14/10/2017 at 00:13

Oh do shut up Boris. Moron.

Andrew JG   14/10/2017 at 00:22

It's good to see the Class 385's that are currently being built that are due to enter passenger service from next year. I quite like what Hitachi have manufactured the AT200 Commuter EMU's for Abellio Scotrail. Hitachi could manufacture more new AT200 commuter EMU rolling stocks in the future that reassembles the appearance of the Siemens Class 350, Class 380, Class 444 and Class 450 Desiro EMU's and the Bombardier Class 172 Turbostar and Class 375, Class 377, Class 379 and Class 387 Electrostar units with yellow end gangways on the front and rear end of the rolling stock trains.

Jim   15/10/2017 at 10:00

Why would Hitachi build new units in the style of the products created by their competitors? Or am I missing something? Also, please look up the definition of the word moron before you continue calling people that.

Andrew Gwilt   15/10/2017 at 10:18

I can say “moron” as I want to ok Jim. Ffs.

AJG89   15/10/2017 at 10:40

I am a big fan of new and old modern trains (Electric, Diesel and Bi-Mode) except Steam locomotives. Which isn’t my interest. I do like what Hitachi are currently manufacturing the Class 385 AT200 “Commuter” EMU’s for Abellio ScotRail that are due to enter passenger service from next year and onwards. And also Hitachi are currently manufacturing the Class 800 & Class 801 IET’s at Hitachi UK Newton Aycliffe manufacturing plant in Northeast England. Along with Class 802 IET’s that are also being manufactured at Hitachi train manufacturing plants in Italy and Japan. I cannot wait to see these brand new trains to start passenger service on the Great Western Main Line and GW routes this year and to start service on ScotRail and the East Coast Main Line from next year. This could be a stepping stone for Hitachi to manufacture more new amazing trains no matter if it’s Electric or Bi-Mode units that they will manufacture new trains for the UK. Including providing new trains to replace the older rolling stocks such as Southern’s Class 455’s used on the South London suburban services to be replaced by the new Hitachi AT100 “Metro” rolling stocks. And to replace the ScotRail Class 314 and Class 318 EMU rolling stocks used on Glasgow suburban routes in/out of Glasgow Central and across the Strathclyde area.

Jamesc   16/10/2017 at 07:39

Its great to see British manufacturing being promoted, but how about the promoting the British Design Engineers that have worked on the project, some of which started before the factory was even built.

Alf   16/10/2017 at 08:02

Who did the aerodynamics for this train, to say they will accellerate faster with this wind resistance means pulling more power so less efficient.

Mark Hare   16/10/2017 at 10:58

Dave - I don't believe there is or ever has been any requirement for windscreens to be flat, most modern units have curved windscreens, and indeed going back to the days of the AM10 EMUs when they were introduced they had curved 'wraparound' windscreens which was considered very stylish at the time.

Chris@Chesterfield   16/10/2017 at 20:04

'Built in the north-east' - where's that then? Aberdeen, Sapporo? Do the transfers just soak off, or is it a sandpaper job?

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