Rail News

New ScotRail Alliance Trains Begin Testing in Germany

Passengers in Scotland are a step closer to the arrival of new ScotRail Alliance trains, after the next phase of testing began in Germany.

new ScotRail Alliance trains
© Hitachi Rail Europe

The Hitachi-built electric trains, which will deliver faster journeys, more seats and better services for customers, are carrying out vital tests in Minden, north Germany, near Hanover from now until October.

The Class 385s, as they are known, are being put through their paces on a range of different routes in the country, reaching speeds of 100mph.

The trains, which have bullet train heritage, have to undergo a rigorous testing programme, before they arrive in Scotland later this year.

Testing Overseas

To allow passengers benefit from the new trains as soon as possible, Hitachi is carrying out some of its test programme outside the UK. European test sites have been used because Britain’s rail network hugely busy, the availability of track for testing is very limited.

Related Post:  BLS Will Not Run Long-Distance Services in 2020 Due to SBB Complaint

Before the trains went to Germany, Hitachi successfully tested the Class 385 in the Czech Republic.

These European tests are in addition to the two trains that are carrying out tests in Scotland.

Building the Best Railway Scotland has Ever had

Hitachi is delivering 70 new Class 385 trains for ScotRail as part of a wider programme to transform the country’s railways.

The trains will allow capacity along the route to increase to 100,000 weekday seats.

As well as having more places to sit, passengers will benefit from more leg room, extra luggage space and a modern, digital seat reservation system.

The new trains, which use electric rather than diesel power, are far better for the environment and will produce no CO2 emissions themselves.

Related Post:  Singapore LTA to Introduce Travel Smart Rewards

The 385 trains bodies are built using the same ‘friction stir welding’ technique that is used to construct the world-famous Shinkansen bullet trains, meaning the shells are both light and extremely strong. The reduced weight allows the acceleration of the 385s to be much faster, which helps to reduce journey times for passengers.

Built in the UK

The new trains are being built at Hitachi’s £82m purpose-built factory in Newton Aycliffe, County Durham.

The company, which is famous for building Shinkansen bullet trains in Japan, has recruited a 900-strong workforce, including over 50 apprentices.

Chris Knape, New Trains Technical Manager at the ScotRail Alliance, said:

“With testing taking place in Germany, the new trains coming to Scotland are one step closer to delivering faster journeys, more seats and better services.

“We are building the best railway Scotland’s ever had, and the new trains are an important part of that.”

Amy Webb, Project Manager at Hitachi Rail Europe, said:

“This new phase of testing means we’re a step closer to bringing the new trains into service. By testing in Germany, we’re able to complete more testing than we would be able to in the UK.

“The benefit for passengers is that they will be able to enjoy the new trains sooner, with extra seats and added comfort that they offer.”

Original article © Hitachi Rail Europe.

Related Post:  Deutsche Bahn Looks at Options for DB Arriva Sale


News categories

    29 Nov 2018
    Scotland: First Successful Electric Train Test Run on Stirling-Alloa Line
    10 Oct 2018
    First Upgraded Inter7City High-Speed Train to Enter Service in Scotland
    20 Sep 2018
    Scotland: Network Rail and Siemens Start Final Signalling Upgrades Phase
    17 Sep 2018
    Bombardier and Hitachi Set Up Joint Bid Centre to Design HS2 Trains
    29 Aug 2018
    UK: Hitachi Opens New Building at Newton Aycliffe Manufacturing Facility
    10 Aug 2018
    UK: Hitachi Building Azuma Trains for London North Eastern Railway
    07 Aug 2018
    ScotRail Services Affected by Extreme Rail Temperatures
    25 Jul 2018
    UK: Nova 1 Train Has Successful Test Run for TransPennine Express
    Subscribe to Railway-News
    Get the latest contract alerts and Railway News emailed directly to your inbox.

    We respect your privacy and take protecting it seriously.

    Please tick to confirm you would like to receive emails we think may be of interest to you. We sometimes tailor the content you see to what we think you'll find interesting, and so monitor your interaction with our website and email content (find out more).