70 new trains for the ScotRail franchise

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


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.

The Class 385 entered into passenger service in 2018. The contract also comprises a 10-year maintenance deal, with plans currently in place to stable and service the trains at Craigentinny depot in Edinburgh.

The new Hitachi trains are part of ScotRail's £475 million rolling stock investment, following the £858 million electrification of the line between Edinburgh and Glasgow by Netwrok Rail.

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

The class 385 trains will be rolled out to the following routes (in no particular order):

  • Edinburgh – Glasgow Queen Street via Falkirk High

  • Edinburgh – North Berwick

  • South Glasgow suburban routes – Cathcart Circle/Lanark

  • Glasgow/Edinburgh – Dunblane/Stirling/Alloa

  • Glasgow – Falkirk Grahamston via Cumbernauld

  • Glasgow Central – Edinburgh via Shotts


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

Michael Matheson, Scottish Transport Minister at the time of the introduction said:

“The introduction of more of the new fleet of C385 electric trains will provide extra seats and allow more passengers to enjoy the modern facilities on board between Glasgow and Edinburgh. The Scottish Government’s on-going commitment to Scotland’s railways is making a real difference and the continuing programme of electrification across the Central Belt will enable more people to use the new trains, which have already proved to be very popular.

Managing Director of ScotRail Alliance Alex Hynes said:

“This is another important step forward for ScotRail and I am delighted that more customers will now be able to travel on our brand-new Hitachi class 385 electric trains.

“We are committed to building the best railway Scotland has ever had and this investment will help to deliver that.

“These trains will benefit customers all across the country, as they will allow us to move trains currently running between Edinburgh and Glasgow out across the network. This will help us to deliver faster journeys, more seats, and better services for our customers.”

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 Limited announced as preferred bidder to supply the new rolling stock for the contract
  • Hitachi signed 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 went into service in July 2018
  • The contract also comprises a 10-year maintenance deal at Craigentinny depot.
  • Hitachi has invested £82 million in a state-of-the-art manufacturing facility in Newton Aycliffe, representing the corner-stone in Hitachi’s commitment to the future of the UK rail industry
  • Class 385s are easing congestion with thousands of extra seats per day - An eight-car train offers up to 168 more seats per train than the diesel fleet they are replacing.
  • Longer, faster trains will mean capacity will increase at peak times on Glasgow-Edinburgh routes.
  • It goes from 0-60mph faster than any other train in Scotland.
  • There are no diesel or NOx emissions which is better for environment and air quality.
  • Less energy required in operation - around one-fifth more energy efficient than the diesel trains that they will replace.
Preview of the Hitachi Class 385 Train for Scotland
On 10th February 2016 ScotRail showcased a model of the new electric Class 385 train