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First UK-built train for Scotland completed by Hitachi in the North East

Press Release   •   Oct 12, 2017 17:00 BST

First UK built Hitachi commuter trains

Today (12th October 2017), Hitachi unveiled the first new commuter trains for Scotland, built in its Newton Aycliffe factory, in County Durham.

The Class 385 train will run between Edinburgh and Glasgow offering faster journeys, more seats and better services for passengers.

Ross Nagle, Chief Operating Officer (Manufacturing), Hitachi Rail Europe, said:

“Today we celebrate the first commuter trains we have built here in the North East. This is a step closer to passengers travelling between Edinburgh and Glasgow feeling the benefits of shorter journeys, more seats and modern technology.

“We’re delighted to welcome the Class 385 – a modern, high-tech commuter train – into the Hitachi Rail family. Like all our trains it is inspired by Japanese bullet train design, but built with British know-how.”

The completion of the trains, fully-fitted with interiors, is another success story for the train factory in the North East. The new trains for Scotland are the second fleet to be built there, following the new Intercity trains, by the over 1,000 strong workforce.

70 new trains in total are being built by Hitachi for Abellio ScotRail - an important part of their plan to build the best railway Scotland has ever had.

The new electric trains have faster acceleration and offer the opportunity to reduce journey times, while being better for the environment and quieter.

Ian McConnell, ScotRail Alliance Programme and Transformations Director, said: “It’s fantastic to see the first of our new trains, built in Britain, roll of the production line.

“With bright, modern, contemporary finishes, the Class 385 will significantly improve the experience of customers travelling with us – whether that’s for business or for leisure.

“We’re focused on delivering a railway that Scotland can be truly proud of, and these new trains will play a significant part in that.”

Each of the new commuter trains will also offer passengers Wi-Fi throughout and improved luggage space. 

Hitachi Rail Europe (HRE) is a global transport specialist with over 100 years of experience building pioneering trains, offering quality maintenance and developing innovative new technology. As a leader in rail we’re improving transport for passengers, connecting communities and helping to boost the UK’s economy.

Having delivered the hugely popular Javelin HS1 fleet in advance of the 2012 London Games, Hitachi is delivering major orders for new trains, with 281 due to be in service by 2021. The first wave of new trains is being made at our purpose-built factory in County Durham and will enter passenger service in 2017 as part of the UK Government’s £5.7bn Intercity Express Programme. With a proud reputation for innovation, Hitachi is at the forefront of using new digital technology to enhance passenger experience and enrich Britain’s railway’s heritage. Hitachi rail is growing rapidly and we’ll soon by more than 2,000 strong, based at 15 locations across the UK.

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