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New windscreens for Hitachi ‘385s’ to be fitted in Scotland

385011 on test at Newton Aycliffe. JAMES GARTHWAITE.

Once a final design for new windscreens has been approved for ScotRail Class 385s, the modifications will be carried out at Knorr-Bremse Rail Services at Springburn.

The electric multiple units, built by Hitachi, are currently unable to enter traffic after problems were encountered with the drivers’ view during mileage accumulation testing (RAIL 850).

A Hitachi Rail spokesman told RAIL on April 17: “We are currently working with manufacturers on finding a solution for the windscreens. Once the new design gains the necessary approval from regulators, they will be installed on the Class 385s.

“The new windscreens will be installed at Springburn in Glasgow. Using a rail services facility in Scotland will help to ensure the trains are ready to enter into service as soon as possible.”

The trains were due to enter traffic last December between Edinburgh and Glasgow Queen Street, but delays to the infrastructure meant they could not be tested on that line until October.

The windscreen problem was discovered during a test run between Glasgow Central and Paisley Gilmour Street. Drivers’ union ASLEF explained at the time that because the windscreen on the ‘385’ is curved, at night it was making drivers see two signals. The view was compared to looking through a fish bowl.

  • The FULL story will be published in RAIL 851, on the shelves on April 25, and available digitally on Android/iPad from April 21. 
  • Read RAIL 850 for the current situation on the Class 385s. It's out now.

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  • AndrewJGwilt1989 - 18/04/2018 10:34

    I still think that the Class 385’s will enter passenger service in December. Once they windscreen issue has been resolved and dealt with. Then it’s green light for the Class 385’s to start service. Along with the electrification of the Alloa line that has been completed. Ready for Class 385’s to operate aswell Stirling that will see electric trains serving Stirling as DMU trains will be replaced except ScotRail might aswell retain the Class 159’s for the North of Scotland service and Highlands. Aswell with Class 43+Mk3 to be used in the Scottish Highlands.

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