Class 385

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Abellio ScotRail ordered 70 new AT200 Electric Multiple Unit trains from Hitachi, to be used on the newly electrified Edinburgh & Glasgow line and other routes in Central Scotland.

385102 inside Shields Depot on the 11th December 2016 during a media event Photo by class47man

Of the 70 trains being built, 54 will be assembled at Hitachi’s Newton Aycliffe factory, with 16 assembled at Kasado in Japan.
46 are to be 3-car Class 385/0 units with standard class only, and 24 will be 4-car Class 385/1 units with first class at one end.

The original intention was to have 21 units available for service from December 2017. They were introduced on Tuesday 24th July 2018, with a press run prior to this with units 385104 & 385003 on Monday 23rd, which ran:

1Z91 11:34 Edinburgh Waverley - Glasgow Queen Street
1Z92 12:52 Glasgow Queen Street - Edinburgh Waverley

385s currently operate on the following routes:

  • Edinburgh-Glasgow via Falkirk High
  • Edinburgh-Glasgow via Shotts
  • Edinburgh-Glasgow via Carstairs
  • Glasgow-Stirling/Dunblane/Alloa
  • Edinburgh-North Berwick/Dunbar
  • Edinburgh-Stirling/Dunblane/Alloa
  • Glasgow Central-Gourock/Wemyss Bay
  • Glasgow Central-Lanark
  • Cathcart Circle

The units are maintained by Hitachi at Craigentinny Depot in Edinburgh, with stabling and servicing facilities also provided nearby at a new depot at Millerhill.

Testing and Type Approval.

DB Systemtechnik was awarded the contract by Hitachi to test and commission the Class 385 fleet. DB Systemtechnik will be responsible for undertaking the dynamic stability and ride comfort testing, together with internal as well as external noise, pressure measurement and traction performance tests.

The first four units (101/102/001/002) were built in Japan without interior fittings and shipped to Europe for Testing and Type Approval.

The first built unit, 4-car 385101, arrived at the VUZ Velim test track in the Czech Republic on 26 August 2016. It had been joined at Velim by 3-car unit 385002 by January 2017.

385102 arrived in the UK on 16 September 2016, moving from Teesport to Newton Aycliffe a few days later. 3-car 385001 arrived in November.

The class 385 test units were fitted with brake translators in the gangway ends so that they could be hauled by locomotives with standard air-brakes. This also requires Delner to Buckeye adapter couplings to be used.

The first of the class to reach Scotland was 385102 which arrived on Saturday 10 December 2016 hauled by DB loco 67015 as 5X09 22:00 Merchant Park Sidings (Newton Aycliffe) to Shields TMD.

Prior to its move north, four-car unit 385102 had ScotRail 'Saltire livery' applied to the driving cars only, with the windows also blanked out. It was shown to the media at ScotRail's Shields Depot in Glasgow on the 11th December.

The next movement took place on Saturday 7 January 2017 with 66115 hauling 385102 as 7Z31 2243 Shields TMD - Gourock. Overnight testing in a Signal Protected Zone (SPZ) between Gourock, Bishopton and Wemyss Bay commenced in the early hours of 13 January.

A second Class 385 moved north on 22 February, Plain blue 3-car 385001 hauled by 67018 as 5X09 17:35 Merchant Park Sidings to Mossend Down Yard. It had reached Gourock by 26 February.

The two 385s briefly returned to Newton Ayclife at the start of April 2017.

Night time test running between Mossend and Carstairs began in May.

385102 was hauled from Mossend to Craigentinny by 66100 on Thursday 11/05/17, and was joined by 385001 (hauled by 66050) on Friday 19/05/17.

The 385s commenced testing from on the ECML Edinburgh to Dunbar and Gransthouse in June.

The other two test units 385002 and 385101 moved from Velim to Minden in northern Germany for dynamic testing.
A hybrid 4-car set formed of 444002+443101+442101+441101 was dead hauled by an electric loco on various routes during September and October 2017.

A class 385 first ventured on to the E&G route with 385001 doing a test run from Edinburgh to Linlithgow on 18th October 2017.

In the early hours of November 1st 2017, 385001 became the first electric train to run the whole length of the newly electrified E&G line to Glasgow Queen Street High level. 4-car set 385102 made the same journey the following night.

The first fully fitted out Class 385 delivered to ScotRail, 385103, arrived at Craigentinny early on Wednesday 22nd November, hauled from Newton Aycliffe by 67010.

The second fully fitted class 385 was delivered on Wednesday 12th December. Unit 385104 was hauled from newton Aycliffe by 67003(?)

Eight class 385s had been delivered by February 2018 and were scheduled to enter passenger service in March 2018 but concerns raised by ASLEF regarding the windscreens has seen this postponed, although they still can be used on training runs and mileage accumulation.

The first four Class 385s that were used for testing will have their interiors fitted at Hitachi’s facility in Pistoia (Italy).

Four-car 385102 was hauled by 67029 from Craigentinny to Tees Dock on April 29, with three-car 385001 following the next night, for onward shipping. The other test units, 385002 and 385101, will move from Germany to Pistoia.

As mentioned earlier, the Class 385s began public service on the Edinburgh & Glasgow via Falkirk High route on Tuesday 24th July 2018. An even handful are currently available at Millerhill & Eastfield, with more on the way. This was due to the units now sporting revised windscreens removing the "Fish Bowl" effect. Additionally, the replacement of these was able to be carried out within depots - removing the need for the original plan to have them fitted at Knorr-Bremse Rail Services, Springburn.

See Also

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