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Class 385s anniversary: Railway can play a much bigger role in transport between Scotland’s cities

Published 24 July 2019 by Transform Scotland

Commenting on the first anniversary of the introduction of the new Hitachi Class 385 trains to the ScotRail fleet, Transform Scotland rail campaigner Paul Tetlaw commented:

Class 385 trains by ScotRail Alliance (CC BY-SA 2.0)

“The 385 trains have proved to be a great addition to the Scotrail network offering more capacity, improved journey times and all the wider benefits of electrification. Indeed the Central Belt electrification has gone really well and is a credit to Scotland – and that hasn’t gone unnoticed by those south of the Border where electrification schemes have not fared so well.

“That they are proving to be one of the most reliable trains in the UK is also a credit to their builders Hitachi.

“We now need to see the Scottish Government’s stated aim of making the train quicker than the car between all Scotland’s cities turned into reality. We are facing a climate crisis and yet transport emissions are not being reduced. There is no surprise in that as the Scottish Government continues to pump billions of pounds into road building schemes which by their own admission will generate more road traffic.

“The railway can play a much bigger role in transport between the cities but needs real investment in infrastructure and a rolling programme to decarbonise the trains. Less than £100m has been spent on the single track Highland Main Line and yet £3 billion is planned to be spent on dualling the A9. That is not the right priority for transport investment in the 21st century.”