Test­ing be­gins, with units due in traf­fic next Septem­ber

Rail (UK) - - Network News -

Com­mis­sion­ing of the Class 385s for pas­sen­ger ser­vice be­gins in July, Hi­tachi Rail Europe AT100 & AT200 Pro­gramme Man­ager Andy Rad­ford told RAIL on De­cem­ber 11.

Speak­ing at the un­veil­ing of 385102 at Glasgow Shields Road, Rad­ford ex­plained how the pro­ject will progress. He said that in­te­ri­ors will be fi­nalised in Fe­bru­ary, and that the first four trains to re­ceive them will be T5 and T6 in Kasado (Ja­pan) and T7 and T8 in New­ton Ay­cliffe. These are the fifth to eighth trains to be built.

He said that 24 trains will be in traf­fic at the start of the De­cem­ber 2017 timetable, and that ini­tially they will need to op­er­ate as sev­en­car for­ma­tions. This means that a mix­ture of three-car ‘385/0s’ and four-car ‘385/1s’ will be de­liv­ered.

Rad­ford ex­plained that the plan is for ten seven-car for­ma­tions and four three-car for­ma­tions to op­er­ate. They have to run as a max­i­mum of seven-car for­ma­tions un­til Net­work Rail ex­tends Glasgow Queen Street’s plat­forms in 2019.

DB Cargo will carry out the de­liv­ery and test­ing of the trains, with 385102 the first to be used. How­ever, Rad­ford said the test pro­gramme be­gan in Septem­ber: “T1 and T4 are in Ve­lim [385101 and 385002], and in mid-Jan­uary or Fe­bru­ary they will move to Ger­many, where DB will haul them on the Ger­man rail net­work for sta­bil­ity test­ing.”

In Scot­land, test­ing of 385102 was due to start as this is­sue of RAIL went to press. It will spend the week be­gin­ning De­cem­ber 12 un­der­go­ing static test­ing and crew train­ing at Glasgow Shields Road, be­fore mov­ing to We­myss Bay the fol­low­ing week­end. It will run in a Sig­nal Pro­tected Zone (with sta­bling at Gourock) un­til March, when ‘385s’ will be passed to run nor­mally on the Net­work Rail sys­tem and be­gin tests dur­ing day­light hours. Rad­ford said that the ‘385s’ are con­tracted to be­gin run­ning tests on the Ed­in­burgh- Glasgow route in May.

The next ‘385’ to be de­liv­ered to Scot­land (three-car 385001) will be de­liv­ered di­rectly to Craigentinny.

Rad­ford ex­plained that four-car trains T5 and T6 (385103/104) are due to leave Ja­pan in April. T7 and T8 (385003/004) are three-car EMUs, and will be the first to be ac­cepted into traf­fic.

He said that due to the six-week ship­ping time, the vast ma­jor­ity of the first 24 units put into traf­fic will be from New­ton Ay­cliffe. The last ‘385’ is planned for de­liv­ery in De­cem­ber 2018.

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