Hitachi rolls out first UK-built Class 385

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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