What a spectacular finish!

Tuesday, 7 November 2017

New trains for Scotland are another step closer as the ScotRail Alliance today revealed the interiors of its new fleet.

The new Class 385 electric trains - which are being built by Hitachi Rail Europe - will deliver faster journeys, more seats and better services for Scotland when they are rolled out next year.

One of the first fully fitted trains was recently completed at Hitachi Rail Europe’s Newton Aycliffe plant. Offering bright, modern, contemporary finishes, once in service, customers across the central belt will benefit from:

  • Power sockets at each pair of seats
  • Free WiFi throughout the train
  • More luggage storage
  • Cycle spaces in a clearly marked area
  • Flexible storage area (prams, golf clubs etc)
  • Two wheelchair spaces
  • Accessible toilet in every train, including a new ‘assist’ facility to allow companion access to the cubicle while maintaining privacy
  • Windows closely aligned with seats

Dedicated first class carriages boast plug sockets at every seat, premium leather seats, LED lighting and more luggage storage.

Class 385s can operate in three, four, six, seven and eight car formations, providing much more flexibility to match demand with capacity. Unlike the existing Class 170 trains, the Class 385 have ‘through’ gangways between all coaches so that every part of the train can be accessed from the inside.

Electric trains mean no diesel engines, resulting in quieter journeys for customers and reduced noise pollution for those living and working near the railway.

When eight-car trains are introduced on the Edinburgh – Glasgow via Falkirk High route, this will improve capacity by up to 44% at peak times.

There will also be more seats during peak periods on the Glasgow / Edinburgh – Stirling / Dunblane / Alloa lines, Edinburgh - North Berwick, and Glasgow Central – Edinburgh via Shotts.

ScotRail Alliance Managing Director Alex Hynes said:

“It’s great to finally see the interiors of our new trains. They look great, and I know customers will agree.

“The finish of these trains will significantly improve the experience of customers travelling with us. Their design has resulted in bright, spacious and accessible carriages – perfect for commuters, business customers and leisure travellers alike.

“We’re building the best railway Scotland has ever had - and providing our customers with modern trains plays a big part in that.”

Mitsuo Iwasaki, Head of Technical at Hitachi Rail Europe, said:

“We expect customers to be really pleased with the interiors of our new trains. We’ve worked closely with ScotRail and various passenger groups to include their ideas into the design and the result is a visible improvement for people travelling.

“In addition to full size tables and more seats, customers will also now be able to stay better connected on their journey with fast WiFi and plug sockets.”


The new trains are part of our plan to build the best railway Scotland has ever had. This is part of a £475million investment programme from Abellio ScotRail, and major investment by the Scottish Government and Network Rail to electrify the railway between Edinburgh and Glasgow.


The Class 385s will be phased in gradually. The trains will enter service first on the newly electrified Edinburgh to Glasgow via Falkirk High route – Scotland’s busiest route – before being rolled out to the following lines:

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


Class 385 trains require less energy to operate - around 18% more energy efficient than the diesel trains that they will replace.

CO2 is produced at the source of electricity, so cleaner air – resulting in 21%* reduction in the CO2 footprint; electric trains produce around 1,650g of carbon per vehicle mile compared with around 2,100g per vehicle mile for the diesel trains that they will replace.

* 21% is based on annual emissions from current ScotRail Alliance diesel and electric train fleets. More accurate measurements will be possible when the Class 385s have been delivered and fully tested.

Hitachi Rail Europe

Hitachi Rail Europe established a base for operations in Glasgow in April 2015, allowing it to work closely with Abellio in the delivery of the Class 385 trains.

The contract between Hitachi and Abellio ScotRail includes a 10-year maintenance deal where the trains will be maintained by Hitachi at Craigentinny depot in Edinburgh.

Abellio and Hitachi have committed to increasing reliability and lowering ‘whole-life ‘costs through continuous improvement work streams and greater use of remote monitoring techniques.