ScotRail’s new electric trains make long-awaited debut

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ScotRail’s long-delayed new electric trains carried their inaugural passengers without a hitch today.

But the acid test will come tomorrow when commuters step aboard for the first time on the main Edinburgh-Glasgow line.

The long-delayed new ScotRail trains made their debut at Queen Street Station on Monday (23 June).' Picture: John Devlin

The long-delayed new ScotRail trains made their debut at Queen Street Station on Monday (23 June).' Picture: John Devlin

The Japanese-built Hitachi class 385 electric trains will provide more seats and faster journeys on ScotRail’s flagship line.

They are due to start by operating the 0555 Edinburgh-Glasgow service tomorrow, followed by others between the cities throughout the day.

However, they are being introduced ten months late and only two trains - which will run together as a single seven-carriage set - are ready so far.

The next train of the 70 in the fleet is not expected to be introduced until September.

IN PICTURES: You can view the full gallery of pictures of the new trains HERE

ScotRail hopes to get two a week after then, with most being introduced by the end of the year and all of them by next spring.

Managing director Alex Hynes said each one would have to complete 2,000 fault-free miles before going into service.

The trains have been delayed by production problems at Hitachi’s factory in County Durham and the need to replace their windscreens so drivers could see signals clearly.

• READ MORE: Hitachi blasted by minister for “unacceptable” delays to new ScotRail trains

There were also problems with electrifying the line.

On board on today’s preview run between Glasgow and Edinburgh for invited guests, new features included larger tables and a separate first class coach.

The new “Express” service, as it will be branded, also includes a dedicated cleaning team complete with Ghostbusters-style backpack vacuum cleaners to clear up crumbs and rubbish.

Seats for elderly and disabled people and pregnant women have been given distinctive multicoloured designs.

The toilets have eye-catching swimming-pool style decorative panels.

The trains are due to cut journeys by ten minutes to 42 minutes by December.

They will eventually run with eight carriages compared to the maximum six on the diesel trains they are replacing.

The class 385s will also run on other lines across the Central Belt.