New trains are coming to Scotland
Alex Hynes, managing director of The Scotrail Alliance, writes about his visit to check on the progress of the new trains coming to Scotland.
It appears to be one of the country’s best kept secrets, but there are big and exciting things happening on Scotland’s railway. The changes we are making will ultimately mean faster journeys, more seats and better services for passengers.
I visited the Hitachi Rail Europe factory in the North East of England to see for myself the progress that is being made on the new class 385 trains that will start running on Scotland’s railway network later this year. The new trains are part of a £475million investment we are making to build the best railway Scotland has ever had.
Being greeted by a sea of shiny new blue trains was something to behold. These are modern trains, with more seats, greater comfort, more plug sockets, free Wi-Fi, more accessible toilets and other great features. Passengers will enjoy smoother journeys on cleaner trains.
The new trains will start running later this year, initially on the soon to be electrified line between Glasgow and Edinburgh before being rolled out in North Berwick, Cumbernauld, Neilston, Cathcart, Lanark and Glasgow to Edinburgh via Carstairs next year.
The new trains are just one element of the changes we are making. From station upgrades to new High Speed Trains connecting Scotland’s seven cities, to the expansion of free Wi-Fi at our stations and on our trains, we have listened to our customers and are delivering what they have asked for.
We are making these improvements – the biggest programme of improvements, in fact, since Victorian times – while continuing to run a daily service. And our performance continues to get better. As I write, 98 per cent of our trains are running on time. That’s a result of the hard work of our dedicated teams across the network.
This is an exciting time, because we are building the best railway Scotland has ever had.
Alex Hynes is the Managing Director of The ScotRail Alliance