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New ScotRail Class 385 begins testing on Edinburgh-Glasgow route

ScotRail 385001 at Linlithgow on October 18. SCOTRAIL.

Electrification of the Edinburgh-Glasgow via Falkirk High route took a major step forward on October 18, when a Class 385 ran under its own power between Edinburgh Waverley and Linlithgow.

Three-car electric multiple unit (385001) was used during tests as the ScotRail Alliance prepares for full testing of its new trains on the electrified route.

SR said: “When the final safety checks on the infrastructure along the remainder of the route are complete, full testing of the new trains will begin.

“The new fleet will enter passenger service over the next few months, offering faster journeys, more seats and better services for customers travelling between Scotland’s two biggest cities.”

ScotRail Alliance Programmes and Transformation Director Ian McConnell, said: “Yesterday’s trial was a hugely important step towards completing the electrification of the line between Edinburgh and Glasgow. Having a train run on the route is one of the final phases of the electrification process. That it has gone so well tells us that we are almost ready to begin the next stage – which is to start fully testing the new trains themselves.

Hitachi Rail Europe Programme Manager Andy Radford, said: “It’s positive so see that progress is being made on Edinburgh to Glasgow electrification.

“We’re hopeful that we’ll be given permission to start full testing soon so we can guarantee the trains can run for passengers safely. We’ve now got trains at our factory in Newton Aycliffe ready to travel to Scotland as soon as they can run on new electric power line.”

When the trains are introduced, the Class 385s will run initially on the Edinburgh-Glasgow via Falkirk High route, followed by Edinburgh-North Berwick and South Glasgow suburban routes including Cathcart Circle, Neilston, Lanark. They will also operate Glasgow/Edinburgh-Dunblane/Stirling/Alloa, Glasgow-Falkirk Grahamston via Cumbernauld and Glasgow Central-Edinburgh via Shotts.

Initially seven-car formations will be used on EGIP, but when eight-cars are introduced, capacity will improve by up to 44% at peak times (compared to a current six-car trains being used).

  • For much more on this, read RAIL 839, published on Android/iPad on November 4, and on shelves November 8. 

 

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  • Lionel McMillan - 19/10/2017 17:28

    Nobody seems to mention that its DB Cargo Train Drivers based at Mossend freight yard thats doing all the test driving for the Scotrail 385s since September last year.

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  • AndrewJGwilt1989 - 19/10/2017 22:48

    New trains for Scotland means that passengers will benefit better journey times and also with the Class 385's soon to operate on the Shotts Line once the electrification is finished. Then the journey between Edinburgh and Glasgow would take roughly under 1 hour or approximately 1 hour & 10 minutes. Which these Class 385's will be much quicker than the current DMU's fleets that takes over hour between the 2 cities.

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  • Alastair - 20/10/2017 09:06

    Are we having a laugh with these trains? Under 50 miles and it still takes more than 40 minutes. An 80 mile routing, London to Ashford, takes 36 minutes with a class 395. And we are still stuck with what are in effect fast suburban trains that can only do 100mph between our cities. Typical. No vision for what could be.

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    • FrankH - 20/10/2017 15:27

      A couple of minor details, 47 miles in 50 minutes with 4 stops at the moment, if you just look at the overall time it's under 60mph average. But to average that with 4 stops means those units are doing 90mph plus in a lot of places to achieve the 60mph average. St Pancras to Ashford is 56 miles and takes 40 minutes with 2 stops, very very fast, and so it should be on a purpose built high speed line with Eurostars/e340's the only other trains using the line. The 2 cannot be compared, congested lines at Edinburgh and Glasgow mean slow starts and approaches, once Eurostar clears St Pancras they have a clear run to Paris or Brussels.

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      • Alastair - 20/10/2017 18:00

        Bang on with your sums Frank. The solution is, we should be having a high speed link between the cities. Basically all they have done is just electrified a line. Faster acceleration, thats true. Still same stops between two major cities. It should have been a new line with a nonstop service rather than new wine in old wine skins. Those economists around these pages know that if you link two cities with high speed rail links, their combined economic growth is greater by several % than if they had not been connected.

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        • FrankH - 24/10/2017 07:43

          If a new line was built could you imagine the outcry from Croy, Falkirk and Linlithgow et al who would all want a station on it. You'd still end up with 4 stops whichever way you go. It would just be a duplicate of the service via falkirk high and not much faster than now that cost a fortune to build. Even the politicians can't think of a reason to build one, not yet anyway. Until election time that is.

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  • AndrewJGwilt1989 - 22/10/2017 17:11

    So in fact between Glasgow Queens Street and Edinburgh Waverley by train with these new Class 385’s soon to enter service early next year will probably take about 50 minutes as both cities are 47 miles. Plus it will mean it will beat the M8 Motorway having rush hour and daily traffic congestion that takes about hour & half or 2 hours to get to Glasgow and/or Edinburgh if there are major accidents or roadworks or broken down vehicle on the M8 Motorway. Then it’s best to use these new Class 385’s trains to commute from Glasgow to Edinburgh and vice versa. Aswell on other routes that Class 385’s will also operate on and possibly work alongside the Class 380’s.

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  • Alastair - 24/10/2017 16:35

    Frank, my thinking is it should be a new non stop line. It is the fast connection between cities that brings the economic growth. People on the Falkirk line would still be able to get to Edinburgh or Glasgow in around 30 minutes on the new trains. I know we are not China. But they would just build a direct line. They have. That's why their economy is growing.

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