How to book cheap train tickets on the ScotRail website
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ScotRail train company contacts
|Date of foundation||1997|
|Previous company names||First, First ScotRail|
|Main services||Intercity train services in Scotland and North West England|
|Parent company||Scottish Rail Holdings|
|Address||ScotRail Customer Relations, PO BOX 27129, GLASGOW, G2 9LH|
|Phones||0344 811 0141;
WhatsApp: 07555 012345
|E-mail:||[email protected]; [email protected]; [email protected]|
|ScotRail official website in English:||scotrail.co.uk|
ScotRail Central Routes
ScotRail Central Routes form the backbone of the company’s extensive rail network, serving the bustling Central belt of Scotland. These routes offer thousands of daily services, connecting stations from Balloch in the north to the Scottish Borders in the south. The Central belt is home to some of ScotRail’s busiest and most frequented routes, ensuring ample capacity for comfortable travel. The electrification of the Edinburgh to Glasgow route has not only reduced journey times significantly but also introduced the environmentally friendly Class 385 eXpress trains, offering a faster and quieter travel experience. To assist passengers in navigating this extensive network, ScotRail provides a Central Routes train map to help plan their journeys effectively.
Busiest Stations on Central Routes
The Central Routes are home to some of ScotRail’s busiest stations:
- Glasgow Central: As the company’s busiest station, Glasgow Central serves as a major transportation hub in Scotland.
- Edinburgh Waverley: Edinburgh’s principal station, Waverley, is a close second in terms of passenger traffic.
- Glasgow Queen Street: This station plays a pivotal role in the Central belt’s rail network.
- Paisley Gilmour Street: Serving the town of Paisley, this station is among the most popular on the Central route.
- Partick: Located in Glasgow’s West End, Partick is another key station catering to the region’s commuters.
Busiest Times on Central Routes
The Central Routes experience peak passenger traffic during specific hours:
- Peak Hours: These routes are at their busiest during peak hours, which typically occur between 06:30-09:30 and 15:30-18:30.
ScotRail National Routes
ScotRail’s reach extends across the entire breadth of Scotland, from the northernmost station of Thurso to the southern destination of Gretna Green. Additionally, ScotRail operates a vital service to Carlisle in northern England and connects to various other railway routes. Taking a train ride along ScotRail’s National Routes offers passengers a unique opportunity to savor Scotland’s breathtaking landscapes, with some of the country’s most picturesque locations accessible solely by rail.
Busiest Stations on National Routes
ScotRail’s National Routes feature several bustling stations, including:
- Aberdeen: Aberdeen serves as a major transportation hub in the northeast of Scotland.
- Stirling: Located in the heart of Scotland, Stirling is another busy station.
- Dundee: The city of Dundee boasts a thriving railway station.
- Inverness: Inverness, in the Highlands, sees substantial passenger traffic.
- Inverkiething: This station in Fife also records significant entries and exits.
Busiest Times on National Routes
National Routes, like Central Routes, witness peak travel times:
- Peak Hours: These routes are generally busiest between 06:30-09:30 and 15:30-18:30.
ScotRail Scenic Routes
ScotRail’s rail network encompasses numerous scenic routes that showcase the natural beauty of Scotland. While all Great Scenic Rail Lines offer breathtaking views, the West Highland Line stands out as one of the world’s most stunning rail journeys. Departing from Glasgow, it takes passengers deep into the picturesque west coast. The route includes the famous Glenfinnan Viaduct, renowned for its appearance in the Harry Potter films as the Hogwarts Express route. These scenic routes provide an unparalleled opportunity to immerse oneself in Scotland’s captivating landscapes.
ScotRail’s network seamlessly connects with other rail networks. Major stations like Glasgow Central and Edinburgh Waverley offer extensive connections to various other networks within Scotland and across the United Kingdom. Travelers are encouraged to ensure they are adequately prepared and check the necessary connection times for each station and journey to facilitate smooth transfers between networks. ScotRail’s commitment to interconnectivity enhances its role as a vital part of Scotland’s transportation infrastructure.
ScotRail, the premier railway service provider in Scotland, offers a comprehensive range of fares, ticket types, and railcard options to cater to the diverse needs of its passengers. These offerings are designed to make train travel accessible, affordable, and convenient for everyone.
Off-Peak Fares All Day Trial
As of October 2, 2023, ScotRail is introducing an innovative six-month trial funded by the Scottish Government. The objective is to simplify the fare structure, making it more affordable and encouraging people to choose train travel over cars. During this trial, Off-Peak fares can be used all day, providing substantial savings for passengers. For example, fares for journeys during traditional peak hours between Edinburgh and Glasgow will see a significant reduction from £28.90 to just £14.90.
Savings on Key Routes
Passengers can expect substantial savings on various routes during the trial. Some examples include:
- Inverkeithing – Edinburgh: Reduced from £11.10 to £6.50.
- Perth – Dundee: Reduced from £14.40 to £9.90.
- Glasgow – Stirling: Reduced from £16.10 to £9.60.
- Inverurie – Aberdeen: Reduced from £11.10 to £8.90.
- Inverness – Elgin: Reduced from £22.00 to £14.40.
The trial aims to attract more passengers to ScotRail services by offering cheaper fares during the early hours of the day. ScotRail is deploying additional carriages on various routes, ensuring passengers have ample seating during peak hours.
ScotRail Ticket Types
Off-Peak Single and Return tickets are now valid for travel all day, eliminating time restrictions. This means passengers can use Off-Peak tickets on any train during the trial period, providing greater flexibility.
Super Off-Peak Tickets
During the trial, the Super Off-Peak Day Return ticket is temporarily withdrawn to emphasize that tickets no longer have time restrictions. Existing Super Off-Peak Day Return tickets will still be honored, but the time restrictions will still apply.
Anytime tickets will be reduced to the same level as the equivalent Off-Peak fare, ensuring passengers enjoy cost-effective travel.
ScotRail Season Tickets
Season Ticket prices will remain unchanged, but passengers may find it cheaper to purchase daily tickets as Off-Peak fares are now available all day. For those with weekly seasons or soon-to-expire Season Tickets, switching to daily tickets is a viable option.
Flexipass prices will not change, but passengers with a few remaining journeys on their Flexipass may consider purchasing daily tickets once their journeys are exhausted.
Kids for a Quid Tickets
Kids for a Quid tickets, which allow up to four children to travel for £1 return each with a fare-paying adult, will now be valid for travel all day, any day.
GroupSave tickets and Group Travel discounts will also be valid for travel all day, any day, during the trial.
First Class Travel
First Class Off-Peak fares, where applicable, will be valid for travel all day, offering passengers an upgraded travel experience.
ScotRail passengers can still benefit from various railcards, including National Railcards, National Entitlement Cards, and Club 50:
- National Railcards: Some railcards have minimum fare requirements for peak travel times, such as the 16-25, 26-30, and Veterans Railcard. Off-Peak tickets will remain valid all day, allowing passengers to enjoy reduced fares even during peak hours.
- Young Scot National Entitlement Cards: Young Scot cardholders can now benefit from reduced fares all day, as minimum fares for morning peak travel have been removed.
- Local Authority National Entitlement Cards: During the trial, holders of local authority National Entitlement cards can travel with rail concessionary fares at any time of day.
- Club 50 Members: Club 50 members will receive even better value, as their discounted Off-Peak tickets will be valid for travel all day, any day.
History of the ScotRail train company
Formation and Early Years (1993-2022)
Scottish Rail Holdings (SRH), a Non-Departmental Public Body under the control of Scottish Ministers, was established with the primary aim of overseeing the governance of train operating companies as per Section 30 of the Railways Act 1993. This entity was created in alignment with the government’s policies, and it played a pivotal role in shaping the history of ScotRail.
Public Ownership and Transition (2022)
ScotRail Trains Limited, trading as ScotRail (Scottish Gaelic: Rèile na h-Alba), emerged as a prominent Scottish train operating company, publicly owned by Scottish Rail Holdings on behalf of the Scottish Government. Its journey into the public domain began on April 1, 2022, when it assumed the role of the operator of last resort for the ScotRail franchise.
Prior to this transition, the ScotRail network had been operated by the private-sector franchisee Abellio ScotRail since 2015. However, in December 2019, Transport Scotland determined that Abellio had failed to meet the performance criteria necessary to secure a three-year extension of its seven-year franchise, leading to the conclusion of the franchise on March 31, 2022.
In March 2021, Transport Scotland announced a significant shift in the franchise’s future. Rather than re-tendering it for another private-sector operator, the decision was made to place it under the control of an operator of last resort owned by the Scottish Government. This strategic move garnered support from prominent unions such as ASLEF, RMT, and TSSA.
A New Beginning (2022-2023)
The Minister for Transport, Jenny Gilruth, officially confirmed the return of ScotRail services to public ownership in February 2022. She initiated a dialogue with key stakeholders to discuss the future of the service, emphasizing the need for an affordable, sustainable, and customer-focused rail passenger service in Scotland, especially in a post-pandemic world.
While this decision was welcomed by various quarters, it also faced criticism. The Scottish Conservatives Transport Spokesman, Graham Simpson, argued that the consultation should prioritize lower fares, service restoration, and the prevention of ticket office closures. The Scottish Liberal Democrats lamented that discussions should have commenced two years earlier, coinciding with the decision to nationalize.
Challenges and Adaptations (2022-2023)
The year 2022 brought about notable developments for ScotRail. On April 4, onboard catering services were reintroduced, a welcome resumption after their suspension during the COVID-19 pandemic.
However, challenges persisted. In May 2022, ASLEF conducted a ballot for strike action, with drivers refusing to work overtime. This led to the cancellation of many Sunday services due to driver shortages. ScotRail cited the pandemic as a hindrance to their efforts to train an estimated 130 drivers. ASLEF, in June 2022, rejected an improved pay offer from ScotRail.
To adapt to these circumstances, a temporary timetable was implemented on May 23, 2022. Daily services were reduced by around one-third, from approximately 2,150 to 1,456, with numerous early morning and late-night services being canceled. In an effort to mitigate the impact, ASLEF recommended its members accept a revised offer.
The Far North Line, specifically services between Wick and Inverness, experienced service cuts from four trains each way per day to two. Stagecoach Highlands announced plans to introduce an additional bus service on this route, commencing on June 6, 2022.
ScotRail continues to deliver off-peak services from Monday to Friday, marking its ongoing commitment to providing essential rail services in Scotland. The company’s history reflects a dynamic journey of public ownership, challenges, and adaptation in the realm of Scottish rail transportation.