ScotRail’s Class 385s to enter service after passing safety checks

Photo: Hitachi.
Photo: Hitachi.

Hitachi-built Class 385 EMUs are set to enter service this summer after meeting stringent health and safety standards.

The trains’ debut on the Edinburgh-Glasgow line was delayed earlier this year due to a safety concern with the “fishbowl windscreen”. This came after previous delays following the late delivery of the Edinburgh Glasgow Improvement Programme (EGIP) electrification programme.

Approval from the Office of Rail and Road (ORR) includes a formal acceptance of the new flat windscreens for the trains, which was also accepted by the trade union ASLEF in May.

The new windscreens are being fitted on trains that are already in Scotland in Springburn, with the rest completed at Hitachi’s County Durham factory.

Meeting the industry health and safety standards – a process known as ‘Type Authorisation – means that the trains now have a licence to carry passengers.

Like this story? Follow us on Facebook to keep up to date with rail industry news

The Class 385s are still undergoing thorough final internal testing and preparatory work before they can enter passenger service.

Hitachi Rail programme manager Andy Radford said: “Getting the green light for new trains is a massive milestone for the project.

“It is now all systems go so that Scottish commuters can start enjoying the benefits of this modern fleet.”

ScotRail project manager Gary Brown added: “The new trains have been declared safe and fit to run, which is great news for our customers. It means we’re one step closer to delivering more seats, faster journeys and better services, not just in the Central Belt, but across Scotland.”

Read more: Europe’s ‘ineffective patchwork’ of high-speed railways unlikely to achieve long-term goals