New ScotRail train revealed at Edinburgh Waverley

Mr Derek Mackay, Transport Minister, officially opened  a life-size model of the interior of the new electric trains Neil Hanna Photography
Mr Derek Mackay, Transport Minister, officially opened a life-size model of the interior of the new electric trains Neil Hanna Photography
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ScotRail has unveiled the interior of its new brand electric train fleet which features more leg room, larger tables and more comfortable seats.

A full-size model of first and standard class seating inside the Japanese-made Hitachi trains has gone on display at Waverley Station in Edinburgh.

Mr Derek Mackay, Transport Minister and Phil Verster, managing director of the ScotRail Alliance have look around the interior of the new train.'' Neil Hanna Photography

Mr Derek Mackay, Transport Minister and Phil Verster, managing director of the ScotRail Alliance have look around the interior of the new train.'' Neil Hanna Photography

Passengers will be able to sample the new interior, which also features larger windows and power sockets, in the walk-through mock-up.

It will be open beside platform two at the east end of the station until 4 March.

The display follows The Scotsman revealing the £370 million train order by new ScotRail operator Abellio in October 2014.

The Class 385 trains will run on the main Edinburgh-Glasgow route - Scotland’s busiest - from the autumn of next year.

The 70-strong fleet will also operate between Edinburgh and North Berwick from spring 2018, and later in the year between Edinburgh/Glasgow and Dunblane and Alloa, and Glasgow-Falkirk Grahamston.

The Glasgow to Neilston and Newton lines and the Cathcart Circle will also be covered.

The trains are also expected to run on a secondary route between the capital and Glasgow Central via Shotts in 2019, once the line is electrified.

The first train will be put through its paces on a test track in the Czech Republic in August before arriving in Scotland for overnight testing in October.

The trains will provide more seats by operating with up to eight coaches, compared to the current maximum six, from December 2018.

They have the same 100mph top speed as the diesel trains they will replace on the main Edinburgh-Glasgow, but their faster acceleration will enable journey times to be cut from around 50 minutes to 42 minutes by 2019.

The tables between four seats will provide enough space for four laptops, unlike the current narrower ones.

There is a power point between each set of two seats, rather than on the outer wall, so passengers won’t have to reach over each other to plug in.

The seats have been designed with improved support for the lower back, with luggage space underneath.

Most of the fleet will be built at Hitachi’s new assembly plant at Newton Aycliffe in County Durham.

Transport minister Derek Mackay, who helped unveil the model, said: “It feels a bit airier and more spacious, with more natural light.”

He said features such as the power sockets would help “the on-train environment keep pace with the increasing public demand for services”.

Mr Mackay said he was also confident there would be no repeat of the teething problems which plagued ScotRail’s last three sets of brand new trains - two of which were also electric.

He said: “They will be trialled and a I do not envisage any difficulties.

“New rolling stock will be more reliable than old rolling stock. I am very confident the trains will be fine.”

ScotRail managing director Phil Verster, who joined the minister for the unveiling, said the trains would be tested for more than a year to fix any problems before they went into service.

He said: “Things will be significantly better than what we have seen before.”

Mr Verster also predicted the new trains would bring a “massive change” in customer satisfaction because more seats would mean less overcrowding.

He said that in turn would improve punctuality by trains being delayed less by passengers struggling to getting on and off.

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