Hitachi’s electric commuter trains, Class 385s, have received approval from the Office of Rail and Road (ORR) ahead of starting passenger service on Scotland’s Central Belt, including the Edinburgh-Glasgow line.
The ORR, which acts as an independent safety and economic regulator for Britain’s railways, said that the Hitachi electric trains meet stringent industry and health and safety standards and are fit to transport passengers.
The regulatory clearance paves the way for the electric trains to be rolled out into service by the end of the summer.
Hitachi Rail programme manager Andy Radford said: “Getting the green light for new trains is a massive milestone for the project. It has been achieved by all parties involved working collaboratively towards the same goal. It is now all systems go so that Scottish commuters can start enjoying the benefits of this modern fleet.”
Hitachi said that the trains have been designed considering the combat congestion on Scotland’s busiest routes. The train coaches will provide commuters with improved Wi-Fi connectivity and air conditioning.
Train operator ScotRail said that the improved acceleration of the Class 385s will cut journey times between Glasgow and Edinburgh to 42 minutes.
The ORR’s approval also includes a formal acceptance of the new flat windscreens for the trains, after their windscreens were changed over safety issues.
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.
ScotRail project manager Gary Brown said: “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.”