BRAND new electric trains are on track for Inverclyde rail passengers.

Operator ScotRail has announced that some of the 70 Hitachi class 385 carriages will enter service locally from next weekend.

It comes as the company says that the controversial 40-year-old class 314 trains will definitely be gone by the end of this year.

The state-of-the-art Hitachi models are being rolled out across the country following a manufacturing delay.

Initially, they were not earmarked for the Gourock and Wemyss Bay lines.

But now ScotRail have revealed that 14 services a day will be operated by the brand new carriages from Sunday May 19, when an improved timetable launches.

Angus Thom, the company's chief operating officer, said: "We are delighted to be introducing the first Hitachi class 385 electric train in Inverclyde. "The class 385 trains have proven to be very popular and this is another important step forward for ScotRail as we provide customers with a vastly improved service."

The company has been criticised in recent years after taking away modern rolling stock on the Inverclyde lines.

A number of class 314s, which were built in 1979, were drafted in during 2016 after newer 380 models were diverted to Edinburgh for driver training to prepare for the delivery of the Hitachi fleet.

Passengers complained that the 40-year-old trains are uncomfortable, liable to frequent breakdowns, dirty and they have poor heating and no toilets, wifi or electric charging points.

ScotRail chiefs admit that the 314s have 'had their day' and it is 'time for them to go'.

They say the process of removing the old carriages began at the end of last year.

Five of the 16-strong fleet have already been removed and all will be withdrawn before 2019 is out although there is no specific date for when the carriages will be gone.

The 314s were originally supposed to be away by May 2018 but the process was held up because of delays with the new Hitachi models.

A ScotRail spokesperson said: "The majority of services between Glasgow and Inverclyde are operated by modern class 380 trains. "The use of class 314 trains on this route will continue to be reduced as we withdraw them from the ScotRail network."

The 314s will operate just three weekday early morning services between Gourock and Glasgow Central only from May 19.