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Delayed indefinitely

Delayed indefinitely

18 May 2018

Entry into service of 46 three-car and 24 four-car Class 385 EMUs being built for ScotRail by Hitachi Rail Europe has been delayed indefinitely following the discovery of signal sighting problems with the curved glass windscreens. The first 21 of the 160 km/h units had been due to enter service in December on the newly-electrifies main line between Glasgow and Edinburgh via Falkirk. The Class 385s had already been delayed by manufacturing problems at Newton Aycliffe and testing issues, including electrical problems with the transformers that had reportedly been resolved. However, safety regulator ORR had indicated that it will not authorise the units to enter passenger service until the signal sighting problems can be addressed. The complex curves of the triple-laminated windscreens have resulted in drivers seeing 'ghost' aspects when approaching red signals in poor light or at night. Two possible solutions are being considered: using glass with a different refractive index or changing the shape of the windscreen.

Railway Gazette, May 2018. p.27.