Hitachi Rail and ScotRail celebrate four years of zero-emission services with the Class 385 fleet

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ScotRail and Hitachi Rail are celebrating four years of Class 385 passenger service this week, as the electric multiple units continue to deliver record reliability and shorter journey times for passengers on Scotland’s Central Belt.

ScotRail’s Class 385 Express train was first introduced in July 2018. It has since become Scotland’s fastest train and was the UK’s most reliable new fleet for 12 months. Over the past year, the fleet has had an average of 52,212 MTIN (Miles per Technical Incident), which is over three times higher than the industry average.

In total, the British built train has carried approximately 34.3 million passengers to their destinations. The fleet of 70 trains has racked up 26,557,229 zero-emission miles, which is the equivalent of travelling from Earth to Venus, according to Hitachi.

Being 100% electric, the Class 385 is already playing a major role in decarbonizing Scotland’s railways by 2035. It has reduced CO2 emissions by 72%, a carbon saving of 41,432 tons CO2e. This is equivalent of saving the CO2 emissions from over 14,600 return flights between London and Tokyo, or the construction of over 800 homes.

The commuter fleet was built at Hitachi Rail’s UK factory in County Durham and was part of £1.3 billion investment in new trains and infrastructure funded by the Scottish Government and Network Rail. This included £475 million rolling stock investment, following the £858 million electrification of the line between Edinburgh and Glasgow.

Jenny Gilruth, minister for transport, said, “The Scottish Government’s substantial investment in this zero-emission fleet of trains is part of our rolling program of electrification of Scotland’s Railway. They connect communities comfortably and sustainably with opportunities for employment, education, and leisure.”

Jim Brewin, head of UK & Ireland, Hitachi Rail added, “The Class 385 is an incredible example of how new trains can deliver faster, greener, and more reliable transport in the UK. Improving connectivity and reliability between Glasgow and Edinburgh was achieved through true collaboration between Scottish Government, ScotRail and Hitachi Rail.

“The ‘Team Scotland’ mind-set continues today, as we explore ways to expand the benefits of the Class 385 across Scotland so we can reach net zero carbon railways by 2035,” Brewin concluded.

The Class 385 is an example of how Hitachi Rail is working toward a net zero society by 2050. Providing rail solutions that reduce CO2 emission through the introduction of 100% electric or battery train technology globally.