70 new trains for the ScotRail franchise

Hitachi Rail Europe and Abellio have signed a contract for the provision and maintenance of 70 new trains for the ScotRail franchise. The trains are financed by Caledonian Rail Leasing.

70 new trains for the ScotRail franchise

A new train for Scotland

46 three-car and 24 four-car Class 385 EMU trains are being procured to operate along the Edinburgh-Glasgow and Stirling – Alloa –Dunblane lines and will go into service in late 2017. The contract also comprises a 10-year maintenance deal, with plans currently in place to stable and service the trains at depots in Edinburgh.

The first six trains are currently being built in Hitachi’s Kasado factory in Japan, with the remaining 64 being built in Hitachi's flagship Newton Aycliffe train manufacturing facility in the UK.

Transport Scotland’s Edinburgh Glasgow Improvement Programme (EGIP) is a crucial part of the new ScotRail franchise, and these new trains will play an important role in delivering extensive benefits for Scottish rail users and providing long term economic sustainability.

The contract is being financed by Caledonian Rail Leasing Ltd, a Special Purpose Vehicle created by SMBC Leasing.

“This is real evidence of Scotland’s railways being fit for the future.”

Derek Mackay, Scottish Transport Minister, said: “With the new ScotRail franchise, a number of impressive infrastructure projects and these slick new trains, we are giving Scotland a railway to be proud of.

“Passengers will love using these new trains, but the benefits go far beyond that. The use of electric trains on Scotland’s busiest route will help reduce our carbon footprint. The improved connection can only be good for our two biggest cities. And the innovative contract has reduced the cost of the finance, as well as guaranteeing a great deal for Scotland in the longer term.

“This is real evidence of Scotland’s railways being fit for the future.”

Jeff Hoogesteger, Chief Executive of Abellio said: “This is an important deal for passengers and for Scotland. New trains for Scotland were a key feature in Abellio’s bid for the franchise and we are excited to be pressing the button on the delivery programme. The arrival of 24 Hitachi AT200s (Class 385 trains) by late 2017 and a further 46 by Dec 2018 will ensure that the full benefits of the Edinburgh Glasgow Improvement Programme are realised for passengers; delivering faster journey times, greater capacity and higher service quality. And the effects of the investment will spread much wider than that. The new trains will be more energy efficient, and innovations in design and lightweight construction will reduce the impact of services on important infrastructure.”

Key facts:

  • In October 2014, Keith Brown, The Minister for Transport and Veterans announced the intent to award the new ScotRail Franchise to Abellio. The contract was signed on 18 October 2014 with Hitachi Rail Europe announced as preferred bidder to supply the new rolling stock for the contract
  • Hitachi sighed the contract to build new trains for the franchise in March 2015, with Abellio taking over the franchise in April 2015
  • The contract is being financed by Caledonian Rail Leasing Ltd, a Special Purpose Vehicle created by SMBC Leasing
  • 46 three-car and 24 four-car Class 385 EMU trains are being procured to operate along the Edinburgh-Glasgow and Stirling – Alloa –Dunblane lines
  • The first trains will go into service in late 2017
  • The contract also comprises a 10-year maintenance deal, with plans currently in place to stable and service the trains at depots in Edinburgh
  • 14 (10 fully assembled and 4 part-assembled) pre-series trains are being shipped to the UK from Hitachi’s Kasado Works in Japan
  • The remaining 56 trains will be built at Hitachi’s Rail Vehicle Manufacturing Facility in Newton Aycliffe, County Durham
  • Hitachi has invested £82 million in the state-of-the-art manufacturing facility, which is operational from October 2015 and represents the corner-stone in Hitachi’s commitment to the future of the UK rail industry
  • Key benefits of the trains : environmentally efficient, faster trains, reduced wear on the rail infrastructure, increased passenger comfort and capacity
  • Key priorities for the interior design were: safety, accessibility, capacity and comfort of passengers
  • Hitachi Rail Europe has built strong links with the British and European supply chain in order to provide as many locally-sourced components as possible
Preview of the Hitachi Class 385 Train for Scotland
On 10th February 2016 ScotRail showcased a model of the new electric Class 385 train, which will operate along the Edinburgh - Glasgow and Stirling – Alloa – Dunblane lines. Part of the Hitachi AT200 series of trains, the new rolling stock will be environmentally efficient, whilst offering faster trains, reduced wear on the rail infrastructure, increased passenger comfort and capacity. 46 three-car and 24 four-car EMU trains have been procured by ScotRail, with 6 pre-series trains currently in production at Kasado Works in Japan - the remaining 63 trains will be built in Newton Aycliffe, County Durham, UK.