Sunday, 22 October 2017

Class 385 Travels on Edinburgh to Glasgow Electric Route

The electrification of the Edinburgh to Glasgow mainline took positive steps forward recently, as the ScotRail Alliance prepares for full testing of its new trains on the electrified route.
One of the new Class 385 electric trains – which has still to be fitted with interiors – successfully travelled between Edinburgh and Linlithgow at 02:00 hours on Wednesday 18 October.
This marks clear progress for the infrastructure as this is the first time that an electric train has travelled on any section of the route.
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:
“The 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.
“We are building the best railway that Scotland has ever had. When we replace the diesel trains with the brand new, state of the art, electric fleet we will deliver enormous benefits to our customers. Cleaner, greener travel – with more seats and faster journeys will completely transform travel between our two biggest cities.”
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.”

Electrification of Edinburgh to Glasgow via Falkirk High route

The 46 miles of the newly electrified railway between Edinburgh and Glasgow went ‘live’ for testing and safety checks on 2 September 2017. More information on the project can be found at

Class 385s

Initially introduced on the Edinburgh to Glasgow via Falkirk High route, Class 385s will run:
  • Edinburgh – North Berwick
  • South Glasgow suburban routes - Cathcart Circle / Neilston / Lanark
  • Glasgow/ Edinburgh – Dunblane / Stirling / Alloa
  • Glasgow – Falkirk Grahamston via Cumbernauld
  • Glasgow Central – Edinburgh via Shotts
When eight-car trains are introduced on the Edinburgh – Glasgow via Falkirk High route, this will improve capacity by up to 44% at peak times (compared to a current six-car trains being used).
There will also be more seats during peak periods on the Glasgow/Edinburgh - Stirling/Dunblane/Alloa lines, Edinburgh - North Berwick, and Glasgow Central – Edinburgh via Shotts.
Once in passenger service, customers will benefit from:
  • Bright, modern, contemporary interiors
  • Faster, quieter and more comfortable journeys
  • Power sockets
  • Free WiFi
  • More luggage storage
  • Accessible toilets in every train


Jimmy Sheng has provided a set of pictures from a recent visit to Hong Kong, which can now be viewed in an album by clicking   here