ScotRail has set out major changes to its timetables which take effect in December and could see journeys to a from Edinburgh reduced.
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 will enable the delivery of the enhanced timetable.
Some of the key changes include:
· 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.
· 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.
· 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.
Alex Hynes, ScotRail Alliance managing director, 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.”