Transport Minister unveils life-size model of the next generation of electric trains for Scotland.
Transport Minister, Derek Mackay yesterday unveiled a life-size model of the interior of ScotRail’s flagship new fleet at Edinburgh Waverley.
A total of 70 new trains will be the most significant enhancement in a £475M train improvement programme that will see 90% of Scotland’s fleet either new or refurbished.
The model train showcased a standard and first class saloon, including seating and tables that will be used in the trains when they are introduced into passenger service from autumn 2017.
The new electric trains, currently under construction by Hitachi Rail, will be larger, faster and greener, offering thousands of extra seats, at-seat power points and better wifi.
The deal is worth £370M and gives the Scottish Government the option to buy the full fleet for £1 after 25 years.
The first customers to benefit from the new trains will be those who travel on the line between Edinburgh and Glasgow via Falkirk High.
Transport Minister, Derek Mackay said: “This is another part of the Scottish Government’s £5 billion investment in the rail network, which includes £475 million to enhance rolling stock, ensuring that rail capacity and the on train environment keeps pace with the increasing public demand for services. I would encourage anyone close to Edinburgh Waverley station to come and see what their new trains will be like.”
Dominic Booth, Managing Director of Abellio UK, said: “We commenced the official procurement process for this new fleet of trains in August 2013 which was 19 months before we took over the ScotRail franchise. The arrival of the Hitachi Class 385 is a major milestone and a testimony to the hard work that has gone into this by all parties.
“This train will be truly transformational for customers, and proudly positions Scotland’s transport at the apex of transport initiatives in the UK. I am particularly pleased that Transport Scotland and my procurement team in Abellio have negotiated such a great deal with Hitachi which is underpinned by some of the finest engineering in the world. Our innovative finance package allows the Scottish Government and Transport Scotland to take ownership of the trains after 25 years and will have long term benefits for Scotland.”
Work will begin at Queen Street station in a few weeks, with up to date information available for passengers to keep them moving whilst the works are being completed.
The new fleet will be a major contributor to sustainable economic growth in Scotland.