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Four years of record-breaking ScotRail and Hitachi Rail passenger service

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Four years of record-breaking ScotRail and Hitachi Rail passenger service

  • The award-winning Class 385 has set records in reliability since its introduction in 2018
  • In four years, the Hitachi built Class 385 fleet has racked the same miles as travelling from Earth to Venus
  • This zero-emission travel has saved the CO2 equivalent of 14,600 return flights from London to Tokyo

ScotRail and Hitachi Rail today celebrated four years of Class 385 passenger service, which has delivered record reliability and shorter journey times for passengers on Scotland’s Central Belt.

Upon its introduction, ScotRail’s Express train became Scotland’s fastest train and was the UK’s most reliable new fleet for 12 months. It has remained in the top three for UK train availability ever since. Over the past year, the fleet has an average of 52,212 MTIN (meaning Miles per Technical Incident), which is over three times higher than the industry average. In total, the British built train has carried approximately 34.3 million passengers to their destinations. The fleet of 70 trains has racked up 26,557,229 zero-emission miles, which is the equivalent of travelling from Earth to Venus.

Being 100% electric, the Class 385 is already playing a major role in decarbonising Scotland’s railways by 2035. It has reduced CO2 emissions by 72%, a carbon saving of 41,432 tonnes CO2e. This is equivalent of saving the CO2 emissions from over 14,600 return flights between London and Tokyo, or the construction of over 800 homes.

This milestone in passenger service is also a celebration of collaboration between ScotRail, Transport Scotland, Network Rail and Hitachi Rail – ‘Team Scotland’. The commuter fleet was built at Hitachi Rail’s UK factory in County Durham and was part of £1.3 billion investment in new trains and infrastructure funded by the Scottish Government and Network Rail.

Jenny Gilruth, Minister for Transport said:

“The Scottish Government’s substantial investment in this zero emission fleet of trains is part of our rolling programme of electrification of Scotland’s Railway. They connect communities comfortably and sustainably with opportunities for employment, education and leisure.”

These highly reliable and efficient trains are popular with passengers, and great for the environment. I would like to thank ScotRail's delivery partners in Hitachi, including their maintenance staff based at Craigentinny depot near Edinburgh, for the exceptional performance of these trains."

Jim Brewin, Head of UK & Ireland, Hitachi Rail said:

“The Class 385 is an incredible example of how new trains can deliver faster, greener and more reliable transport in the UK.

Improving connectivity and reliability between Glasgow and Edinburgh was achieved through true collaboration between Scottish Government, ScotRail and Hitachi Rail.

The ‘Team Scotland’ mind-set continues today, as we explore ways to expand the benefits of the Class 385 across Scotland so we can reach net zero carbon railways by 2035.”

Alex Hynes, Managing Director of Scotland's Railway, said:

“The Class 385 trains have proven really popular with our customers since their introduction four years ago.

This state-of-the-art electric fleet not only supports our emissions targets but they’ve enhanced our customers’ experience through better on-train facilities and improved accessibility.

“The investment that’s been made in recent years, and that will be made in the years to come, will modernise Scotland’s Railway and ensure it is fit for the future.”

The investment in Scotland’s railways also included Hitachi Rail’s £30 million upgrade of 118-year-old Craigentinny Depot and digital upskilling of the workforce. This investment and collaboration has been instrumental in delivering record reliability and the Class 385 receiving the prestigious ‘Fleet Excellence’ award from RAIL Magazine in 2020.

The Class 385 is an excellent example of how Hitachi Rail is working towards a Net Zero society by 2050. Providing rail solutions that reduce CO2 emission through the introduction of 100% electric or battery train technology globally.


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Notes to Editors

  • Supporting images of Class 385 can be viewed here
  • Inaugural journey of Class 385 took place on Tuesday 24 July 2018 between Glasgow Queen Street-Edinburgh Waverley via Falkirk High route
  • Miles per Technical Incident figures are the latest submitted to the Rail Delivery Group
  • The Class 385 was part of ScotRail’s and Transport Scotland’s £475 million rolling stock investment, following the £858 million electrification of the line between Edinburgh and Glasgow.
  • 21% of ScotRail customers since April 2019 have travelled on a Class 385
  • The Class 385s increased capacity with up to 130 extra seats available on each service, a top speed of 160km/h, and journey time of 42 minutes between Edinburgh and Glasgow.
  • Transport Scotland has set itself a target of decarbonising Scotland passenger railways by 2035
  • More background on Team Scotland collaboration can be viewed here
  • The Class 385 won the ‘Fleet Excellence’ at National RAIL Awards in 2020



About Hitachi Rail: Hitachi Rail is a fully integrated, global provider of rail solutions across rolling stock, signalling, service & maintenance, digital technology and turnkey solutions. With a presence in 38 countries across six continents and over 12,000 employees, our mission is to contribute to society through the continuous development of superior rail transport solutions. We are proud of our global achievements, from our world ­famous ‘bullet trains’, to our signalling solutions and turnkey projects, state­-of-the-art traffic management and digital solutions. Drawing on the wider Hitachi Group’s market-leading technology and research-and-development capabilities, we strive for industry leading innovations and solutions that can deliver value for customers and sustainable railway systems that benefit wider society. For information about Hitachi Rail, visit

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