‘Fish bowl’ vision on ScotRail Class 385 delays unit start and cascade


VISIBILITY problems stemming from the curved windscreen in the driver’s cab of the new-build
Class 385 EMUs is the latest stumbling block to hit the replacement for the Class 170s DMUs on the flagship Glasgow Queen St to Edinburgh route.

An issue of seeing double signals has been found during testing of the trains over the Glasgow to Paisley Gilmour St route at night.

As a result, introduction of the units, planned for March, has been deferred until the May timetable change in the hope a solution can be found.

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New Class 385 No. 385104 arrives at Prestonpans on February 16 during a crew-training run from Dunbar to Edinburgh Waverley. With no tannoy announcements, the pause at the station caused some confusion for passengers awaiting the following North Berwick to Edinburgh service. IAN LOTHIAN

The fleet of 24 four-car and 46 three-car sets, built by Hitachi, is costing £370million, and is being introduced by ScotRail on busy electrified routes. However, delays with the electrification of the route, unit construction and delivery, which has impacted driver training, has meant the introduction of the class to service is a around year late. The windscreen issue, raised by rail union Aslef, is the latest setback.

Aslef’s organiser in Scotland Kevin Lindsay said: “The windscreen is curved and, at night, is making drivers see two signals. It’s like looking through a fish bowl all the time.”

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