Rail trial heralds ‘best railway Scotland has ever had’

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ScotRail is set to fully test new trains on electrified routes after this week’s successful “dummy run” between Edinburgh and Linlithgow.

A brand new fleet will enter service “over the next few months”, with the promise of faster journeys, more seats and better services for passengers travelling between Glasgow and Edinburgh via Falkirk High.

New eight-car Class 385 electric trains on that route will boost capacity by up to 44 per cent at peak times.

ScotRail Alliance Programmes and Transformation Director Ian McConnell, said this week’s trial went so well it’s almost time to start fully testing the new trains themselves.

“We are building the best railway that Scotland has ever had,” he said.

“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.”

The 46 miles of the newly electrified railway between Edinburgh and Glasgow via Falkirk High went “live” for testing and safety checks on September 2.

The new trains, initially introduced on that route, will also run on the following routes -

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

More seats are also promised during peak periods on the Glasgow/Edinburgh - Stirling/Dunblane/Alloa lines, Edinburgh - North Berwick, and Glasgow Central – Edinburgh via Shotts.

Among the benefits promised for passengers are faster, quieter and more comfortable journeys, availability of power sockets, free WiFi, more luggage space, and accessible toilets in every train.