No sooner had I fired off the preceding EGIP post than I’m off to the station where I find one of two Class 380 trains already in service on the line since the 15th. Definitely a class act, these Siemens-built trains are not only faster, smoother and quieter but the interior is a huge improvement, with broader seats (4 across instead of 5), accessible loos, plenty of half-tables and (for the first time on ScotRail) power sockets for laptops and mobiles.
Some less obvious things improve the service—the guard now has control of the doors from any car, avoiding delays while (s)he rushed to one end of the train to open the doors at a stop. The seats now line up with windows so that views are better. Even the dynamic (and frequently wrong) in-car notices of the next stop have been made less obtrusive.
It arrived in Edinburgh after 31 minutes, 4 minutes ahead of schedule. Though still not enough to connect with the on-the-hour Glasgow service this is a side effect of our new timetable running six minutes later than the old. The train and journey were both faultless and harbinger higher quality experiences across the network when EGIP is complete after 2016.