First new electric trains start operating on flagship rail route

Travellers between Scotland's two main cities can benefit from improved rail services of the first of a new fleet of electric trains.

The new class 385 trains are running on the flagship Edinburgh to Glasgow Queen Street via Falkirk High route from Tuesday.

The move is part of a series of improvements aimed at cutting journey times on the busy line, although the introduction of the new vehicles has been delayed.

ScotRail has said the electric trains will help it cut the current 51-minute journey time between the two cities by up to a fifth - although managing director Alex Hynes said in May it will be 2019 before all services on the route are cut to 42 minutes.

The rail operator is also promising the trains will be greener, saying the class 385 vehicles are 18% more energy efficient than the diesel ones they are replacing. In addition, as they are electric there will be no harmful CO2 emissions.

Manufacturer Hitachi is building 70 of the trains, which will be introduced on other routes across central Scotland in the coming months

ScotRail said the trains are part of its £475 million investment in rolling stock, following the £858 million electrification of the line between the two cities by Network Rail Scotland.

Mr Hynes hailed the introduction of the new vehicles as a "significant moment as we work to build the best railway Scotland has ever had".

He added: "The investment we are making will deliver faster journeys, more seats, and better services for our customers."

Twenty four of the new trains will have four carriages, while 46 will have three carriages.

Read Full Story

FROM OUR PARTNERS