ScotRail confirms brand new electric trains to start running from next week

Friday, 20 July 2018

ScotRail customers will be able to travel on the first new Hitachi class 385 electric train next week, the rail operator has announced today.

The first of the class 385 Express trains will run on the Glasgow Queen Street-Edinburgh Waverley via Falkirk High route from Tuesday, 24 July. The remainder of the new class 385 trains for that route will be phased in over the course of the coming months, before the rollout is extended to other routes across the Central Belt.

The new Hitachi trains are part of ScotRail’s £475 million rolling stock investment, following the £858 million electrification of the line between Edinburgh and Glasgow by Network Rail Scotland.

Key elements of the overall investment programme include:

  • Significantly upgraded stations along the route, including the redevelopment of Glasgow Queen Street;
  • Electrification of the Central Belt, including the route between Glasgow/Edinburgh and Stirling/Dunblane/Alloa;
  • Extended platforms at Glasgow Queen Street and Edinburgh Waverley to accommodate longer trains.

ScotRail recently introduced class 365 ‘happy’ trains between Glasgow Queen Street and Edinburgh, which boosted capacity by more than 17,200 seats a day.

ScotRail Alliance Managing Director Alex Hynes said:

“I am delighted that customers will be able to travel on our new Hitachi class 385 electric trains from next week. This is a significant moment as we work to build the best railway Scotland has ever had.

“The investment we are making will deliver faster journeys, more seats, and better services for our customers.”

Roy Brannen, Transport Scotland Chief Executive, said:

“It’s great to see the investment in the class 385 fleet come to fruition with their imminent entry into service. This is another example of partnership working to help make Scotland’s railway the best it has ever been.

“I am sure passengers using these trains will enjoy the extra capacity and improved facilities they will bring.”

Karen Boswell, Managing Director of Hitachi Rail Europe, said:

“When passengers step on board this first train they’ll find it light, spacious and modern with loads of more seats – up to 130 extra compared to the existing diesel trains.

“And there is more to come. Our UK factory is working tirelessly to deliver the rest of the fleet, which will allow the current 51 minute journey time from Edinburgh and Glasgow to be cut by up to a fifth. Thanks to their high quality Japanese engineering these trains have the best 0-60mph acceleration of any in Scotland.”

Notes to editors

Attached are photographs of Hitachi class 385 trains at Millerhill depot. A number of the trains are in the final stages of their testing regime, and will soon be ready to enter service.

Key facts


The class 385 trains will be rolled out to the following routes (in no particular order):

  • Edinburgh – Glasgow Queen Street via Falkirk High
  • Edinburgh – North Berwick
  • South Glasgow suburban routes – Cathcart Circle/Lanark
  • Glasgow/Edinburgh – Dunblane/Stirling/Alloa
  • Glasgow – Falkirk Grahamston via Cumbernauld
  • Glasgow Central – Edinburgh via Shotts

Train specifications

  • Hitachi is building 70 new class 385 trains for ScotRail. This will deliver 234 carriages, made up of 24 x four-car trains and 46 x three-car trains.
    • Four-car trains have 273 seats, with a total of 546 seats for eight-car trains.
    • Three-car trains have 206 seats.

Greener trains

  • Less energy is required in operation – the class 385 trains are 18 per cent more energy efficient than the diesel trains they will replace.
  • Reduced noise pollution for those living and working near the line.
  • Better air quality.
  • No CO2 emissions from the trains. CO2 is produced at the source of electricity, so cleaner air – resulting in a 21 per cent reduction in the CO2 footprint.

Station upgrades

We have upgraded the stations along the route. This includes:

  • Glasgow Queen Street is currently undergoing a multimillion pound redevelopment, which is due to be complete in 2020. Further details can be found at the following link:
  • The former waiting rooms at stations along the route have been replaced with new ScotRail lounges. Open to all customers, the lounges offer a place to relax or work in comfort, with a mix of sofas and padded chairs, as well as softer lighting (sofas only at Linlithgow);
  • An additional 11 ticket machines have been installed at Croy, Falkirk High, Polmont, and Linlithgow;
  • Improved customer information screens;
  • A new Lavazza coffee machine has been installed on platform one at Linlithgow;
  • Smart retailing is now available at Queen Street, Linlithgow, and Edinburgh Waverley travel shop.

About Hitachi Rail Europe

Hitachi Rail employs over 2,000 people and will soon be operational at 15 locations across the UK. In Scotland we are making a strong and long-term commitment to bring new trains, improve depots and safeguard jobs. By 2020 there will be 154 trains carrying passengers in Scotland and we will employ 300 people. Along with the Class 385s on the Central Belt, our next generation Azumas and TransPennine intercity trains will be running to Edinburgh, Glasgow, Aberdeen and Inverness. These trains will improve connectivity and reliability across Scotland and with the rest of the UK. The majority of these trains are being built at our state-of-the-art factory in Newton Aycliffe, County Durham.

Later this year Hitachi Rail will manage and employ 250 staff at Craigentinny depot as part of the 27 ½ year maintenance contract. Scotland’s busiest and biggest depot will become Hitachi Rail’s maintenance and training hub in Scotland, where Hitachi’s Class 385 and LNER Azuma train will be serviced. Managing Craigentinny is part of our wider investment in Scotland, which includes £20 million upgrading depots in Aberdeen, Inverness and Glasgow so they can maintain modern Hitachi trains.

For more information about the company, please visit: