Video: ScotRail's new Japanese trains put through their paces

An artist's impression of the new ScotRail trains built by Hitachi. Picture: Contributed

An artist's impression of the new ScotRail trains built by Hitachi. Picture: Contributed

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Footage of one of ScotRail’s new Japanese-built Hitachi trains being tested in the Czech Republic has been released.

The Class 385 electric trains are due to arrive in Scotland next month for testing and go into service on the main Edinburgh-Glasgow line via Falkirk in a year's time.

One has been tested at the Velim test track in the Czech Republic since last month, where it has reached its 100mph top operating speed

Another train - without interiors - has arrived at Teesport after being shipped by sea from Japan.

Most of the 70-strong fleet will be assembled at Hitachi’s nearby factory at Newton Aycliffe in County Durham.

Driver training is due to start in Scotland in the spring.

ScotRail said the £370 million fleet, which will replace 15-year-old diesel units, will have more leg room, larger tables and more comfortable seats.

They will also operate between Edinburgh and North Berwick from spring 2018, and later that year between Edinburgh/Glasgow and Dunblane and Alloa, and Glasgow-Falkirk Grahamston.

The trains will also serve the Glasgow to Neilston and Newton lines and the Cathcart Circle in the city.

They 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 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 line, 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.

The trains were at the centre of a bitter dispute with the RMT union this summer over control of the doors and safety of the train.

ScotRail agreed with the RMT and drivers' union Aslef this week that drivers would take over the opening of the doors and conductors would continue to close them.

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