ScotRail reaches another milestone with timetable improvements

Lucy Johnston2018, News

News Release from ScotRail:

Timetable improvements to be introduced from December will see ScotRail reach another milestone as it builds the best railway Scotland has ever had, the operator said today.

Announcing the changes to its timetable from 9 December 2018, ScotRail said it will deliver faster journeys, more seats, and more services for its customers.

The introduction of high-speed trains and brand-new class 385 electric trains, as well as major infrastructure improvements like the electrification of the Stirling-Dunblane-Alloa route, will enable the delivery of the enhanced timetable.

Some of the key changes include:

Faster journeys

  • Average journey times between Edinburgh and Glasgow via Falkirk High will be reduced from 51 minutes to 47 minutes.
  • Journey times on services from Stirling to Edinburgh will be reduced by more than five minutes.
  • Rail journeys in key locations will now be considerably faster than car journeys.
  • Journey times on key Glasgow – Stirling/Alloa/Dunblane services will be reduced by up to five minutes.

More services

  • New half hourly Edinburgh to Glasgow service (via Cumbernauld and Falkirk Grahamston) using brand new class 385 trains.
  • Extended Edinburgh to Arbroath services, providing close to an hourly local service for Broughty Ferry, Monifieth, and Carnoustie.
  • New hourly Aberdeen to Montrose service, providing a minimum of an hourly service at Laurencekirk, Stonehaven, and Portlethen.
  • Nine additional services between Inverness and Elgin, giving close to an hourly all-day service for Nairn, Forres and Elgin.

More seats

  • Class 385 electric trains on all Edinburgh-Glasgow via Falkirk High services.
  • Class 385 electric trains introduced on Glasgow Queen Street to Alloa and Dunblane services.
  • Class 365 electric trains on Edinburgh to Dunblane services.
  • Half of North Berwick to Edinburgh services will have 6 carriages.
  • Glasgow Central to Neilston services increased from 3 to 4 carriages.
  • Most Airdrie to Balloch services will now have 6 carriages.

Further timetable improvements will be delivered in May and December 2019.

ScotRail Alliance Managing Director Alex Hynes said:

“The improvements we are making to our timetable from December mean ScotRail has reached another milestone as we build the best railway Scotland has ever had. This is just the first phase of the work we are doing to deliver for our customers over the next year.

“The investment the ScotRail Alliance is making to electrify more lines and introduce new and upgraded trains means we will deliver faster journeys, more seats, and more services for our customers.”

Michael Matheson, Cabinet Secretary for Transport, Infrastructure and Connectivity said:

“These changes mark the first significant phase of timetable improvements on Scotland’s railways with £475 million being invested in rolling stock during this franchise, introducing faster, longer, greener trains.

“The amendments will see more of the existing refurbished fleets cascaded across the country meaning better trains, more seats and more services, delivering an improved experience for passengers.”

The key changes, locally for Montrose – Aberdeen are:

  • New hourly local service between Montrose and Aberdeen calling at Laurencekirk, Stonehaven and Portlethen.
  • Daily services at Montrose increase from 52 to 91
  • Daily services at Laurencekirk increase from 24 to 40
  • Daily services at Stonehaven increase from 50 to 71
  • Daily services at Portlethen increase from 20 to 41
  • Montrose now a key interchange station, both for transfer between trains and for integration between bus and rail.
  • More than 5,000 additional seats each day introduced into this corridor
  • Regular service provides opportunity for better integration with local bus services
  • First phase of new Aberdeen cross rail service which will run to Inverurie by end of 2019

Full details of all the regional changes can be found here: