Date lodged: 11 January 2018
To ask the Scottish Government what progress is being made with plans to (a) provide 40% more seating and (b) introduce Class 385 trains on the North Berwick-Edinburgh line, and what the reason is for any delay.
Answered by: Humza Yousaf 25 January 2018
Two class 385 trains concluded the required testing on the newly electrified Edinburgh-Glasgow via Falkirk route prior to Christmas and the data from these dynamic tests will form part of a suite of documentation submitted in February to gain approval from the Office of Road and Rail to operate the new fleet in passenger service in the coming months on services between Edinburgh and Glasgow.
Hitachi has reported delays to the manufacture process but are working hard to address this. Class 385s are now starting to arrive in Scotland to help support the on-going driver training and staff familiarisation programme ahead of gradual service introduction of the new longer, faster, greener fleet onto Edinburgh - North Berwick/Dunbar services during the second half of 2018.
Six car peak operation on the North Berwick route using existing Class 380s has already been introduced, 10 months ahead of schedule, and further improvements to capacity will be delivered by the end of this year.