Hitachi rolls out first UK-built Class 385


Hitachi has presented the first Class 385 for ScotRail to be built at its Newton Aycliffe plant.

The rollout comes a few days before a Kasado-built Class 385 takes power from the newly electrified wires between Glasgow and Edinburgh for the first time.

Another three partially built units completed the line-up at a press event earlier today.

The distinctive look of the units is a result of them being the only class in the current Hitachi UK train build with a corridor connection, which Transport Scotland specified as a requirement.

Currently there are two Class 385 units under test in Scotland. Two units are also subject to ride testing on the German rail network as part of the type approval process. This is being done there as it is felt there is not sufficient track access in Britain to complete these tests within the programmed date.

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Following the roll out, there was a press tour of the plant to see the Class 385 and Class 800 unit production lines.

Hitachi advise that 71 per cent of all parts are supplied from the UK. These include pipework, windows and internal fit-out. Parts supplied from outside the UK include bogies, which are supplied from Hitachi’s plant in Naples, wiring looms from a Hitachi plant in China, with Japan supplying bodyshells, traction equipment and air conditioning units.

Reporting by David Shirres, Editor, Rail Engineer


  1. Credit to Transport Scotland for insisting on end corridor connections. It is the only logical way to proceed for such units, so much so as hardly to warrant comment. Without such connections, on longer formations passengers are denied the full range of services (e.g. refreshments) and operators are denied the full opportunity to check tickets.

    • As a driver your view is severely restricted on through gangway MUs – I almost killed 2 teenagers when they crossed the line in front of me at a station. The first I saw of them was when they jumped up from the track into the platform. Call me old school but the best solution would be an engine and carriages …..

      • That wasn’t your fault or the fault of the gangway. The little Dobbers were on the track when they shouldn’t have been. It’s their fault if they get hit and killed nobody and nothing else’s fault. As a driver you are supposed to be their, they are not. Never feel like you have to protect these idiots and never get upset over it if you kill one. I’ve seen people killed on the railway one of which was an idiot taking a short cut on the track, I have absolutely no sympathy for the tit.

  2. Just a pity that only the “accessory” parts are from the UK whereas the main and higher value bits are all from overseas.
    Still the jobs obtained from the assembling of these trains are welcome.

  3. Hitachi might aswell carry on manufacturing new trains in the UK. Including the AT100 “Metro/Suburban”, AT200 “Commuter” and AT300 “Intercity Express/Super Express” Electric and Bi-Mode rolling stocks.

    To replace the older rolling stocks including replacing older stocks in London & Southeast (including Southern Class 455’s), East Midlands, West Midlands (Birmingham & surrounding areas) and possibly new AT100 “metro” EMU trains to replace the ScotRail Class 314 and Class 318 EMU suburban units that are becoming old and ageing despite they are reliable British built electric suburban units that operates across the Strathclyde area and suburban services to & from Glasgow Central.

    Aswell new deep level tube trains for the London Underground Bakerloo, Central, Piccadilly and Waterloo & City lines.

    Or Hitachi to build new London Underground Tube stocks for the Bakerloo and Piccadilly Lines to replace the 1973 & 1974 Stocks that are old and are due for scrap.

    With new deep level stocks will have air-conditioning, walkthrough passageways, LED information display screens with voice announcement, selective door operation of some doors can’t open due to short platform (just like on the Bombardier Movia London Underground S7 & S8 sub surface “S-Stock” units), wifi, seats (including longitude seats and pop-up seats), interiors and LED lights to be added to the new tube stocks for the London Underground Bakerloo and Piccadilly lines.

    Hitachi will still continue to manufacture new rolling stock multiple units in the UK in years and decades to come.


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