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First ScotRail Class 385 to undergo testing next month

The first AT200 in ScotRail’s 70-train fleet order will be undergoing testing in Hitachi’s Japan plant next month, RTM can reveal.

The amount of trains set to be built domestically has also increased from 63 to 64 to ensure “increased delivery” and to take advantage of the expanded manufacturing happening locally, Hitachi’s general manager for Scotland, Jon Veitch, told RTM.

The first bodyshell of the 70-EMU fleet is also expected to be shipped to the UK next month. 

“The first bodyshell will be shipped probably next month across to the UK. We’ll build up our own confidence and manufacturing skills there [in Japan], but the first train in Japan [will already go into test next month],” Veitch said. “Bodyshells are now being produced day in and day out in Japan.”

Asked why six trains are being produced in Japan rather than at Hitachi’s newly-opened Newton Aycliffe facility, the director said it’s important for domestic staff to hone their skills and transfer the “quality and the reputation of Japanese manufacturing over to ourselves”.

Part of this includes the practice of “exhaustive testing” of all systems to ensure faultless reliability across key Scotland routes, including on the electrified Edinburgh-Glasgow line, the country’s busiest, and on the Stirling-Alloa-Dunblane lines.

Earlier this month, ScotRail also decided to park a life-size model of the interior of the upcoming train at Edinburgh Waverley so customers can experience it first-hand.

The train will stay open for public visits until 4 March, showcasing both a standard and first class saloon of the Class 385 train as well as its actual seating and tables.

The first 24 trains will enter service in 2017, with the remainder of the fleet being rolled out by early 2019.

Read more about RTM’s interview with Veitch about Hitachi’s AT200s in the next edition of RTM.


Huguenot   01/03/2016 at 09:27

What a pity that, after the first few AT300s for the West of England are built abroad, they aren't going to be built at Newton Aycliffe like the Class 385s.

Davidb_   01/03/2016 at 11:25

Huguenot, there simply isn't capacity to manufacture the Class 802s in the required timescale locally.

Glasgowfan   01/03/2016 at 17:27

These trains will provide a safety hazard if drivers are allowed to operate the doors of these units between Scotland's central belt and I for one always feel safe knowing the fact that all aspects and safety operations are always done by guards on the trains in Scotland's railways

Chris   01/03/2016 at 18:24

Is it not Abellio Scotrail ;)?

David   01/03/2016 at 19:58

Glasgowfan, what are you on about? Driver-only trains operate all over the country, not least on my commuter line into London where 12-car trains have run for years without guards.

Rebus   01/03/2016 at 22:37

I agree with David, DOO speeds up platform departure times

Chris   02/03/2016 at 08:14

I agree with Huguenot, but the real shame is the fact that Northern Line are ordering trains from Spain rather than Hitachi at Newton Aycliffe, even though the test track runs metres away from a branch of the Northern Line. Nothing like companies going out of there way not to support North East companies.

David   02/03/2016 at 09:20

Chris, once again, there simply isn't the capacity available for Newton Aycliffe to supply all these orders for 2018 on its own.

Chrisf   03/03/2016 at 07:59

Chris, don't forget that, whilst both Jubilee and Northern line were assembled by Met Cam, the bodyshells and some fit out was done near Barcelona. (as were Class 465/2 and 466). Pendos came from Italy to be assembled in Washwood Heath.

Mully   04/03/2016 at 22:38

I'm surprised nobody had pointed out the big mistake in the headline ha ha. (The 'first' word) Also it was the Scottish Gov' that ordered them many many years ago.

RTM   07/03/2016 at 08:37

Hi Mully, We do not mean 'first' as in "First Group". We meant it as the word 'first', as in 'first train'.

Nigel Spate   07/03/2016 at 19:56

These trains remind me of the Diesel Blue Pullmans but with a cab corridor connection!

Andrew Gwilt   11/03/2016 at 00:24

The Class 385's that Hitachi are building will be different to the Class 380's Desiro EMU's that Siemens have built.

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