Template:About Template:Infobox rail company First ScotRail[1] is the main train operating company in Scotland. It is owned by First, the company that has operated the ScotRail franchise since 17 October 2004. It operates most commuter and long-distance services within the country as well as some cross-border services to England, including the Caledonian Sleeper. Out of all of First Group's train companies, ScotRail is the largest.


File:First ScotRail.jpg

National Express operated the ScotRail franchise from March 1997 until October 2004 as ScotRail.

In July 2003 the Scottish Executive and the Strategic Rail Authority announced Arriva, First and National Express had been shortlisted to bid for the new franchise.[2]

In June 2004 the Strategic Rail Authority and the Scottish Executive awarded the new franchise to First with the services operated by ScotRail transferring to First ScotRail on 17 October 2004.[3][4]

On 1 January 2006 Transport Scotland was created to carry out the Scottish Executive's transport responsibilities including including its then newly-devolved powers over rail franchising.[5]

In April 2008 Transport Scotland granted First ScotRail a three year franchise extension until November 2014.[6][7]

In September 2008 Transport Scotland announced that all First ScotRail trains, including those previously operated on behalf of the Strathclyde Partnership for Transport, would be repainted in a new blue livery with white Saltire markings on the carriage ends.[8] The rebranding put less emphasis on the First and is marketed as "ScotRail: Scotland's Railway".[9] The first unit to receive the new livery was 170434, unveiled at Glasgow Queen Street on 22 September 2008.


Main linesEdit

File:Train approaching the Forth Bridge.JPG

Express trains operate between Edinburgh, Glasgow, Inverness, Dundee and Aberdeen. The Highland Main Line links Inverness to the south. Some stretches of main line, such as the Highland Main Line, are single track, and express trains must call at intermediate stations to permit trains coming in the opposite direction to pass.

The main lines of Scotland are:


Template:See also The densest part of the network is the suburban network around Glasgow, with 183 stations, the second-largest suburban rail network in the UK, after London. Much of it is 25 kV AC electrified. Glasgow’s main terminal stations are Central and Queen Street stations. ScotRail operate trains in this area under the Strathclyde Partnership for Transport (SPT) brand. However, the Strathclyde Partnership for Transport no longer has any input into specifying rail services in the Glasgow area. DMUs and EMUs that are liveried in the carmine and cream livery are being stripped of the Strathclyde logos.[10] Lines in and around Glasgow are:

The North Clyde Line is now linked to the Edinburgh-Bathgate Line (see Edinburgh, below) with the completion of the Airdrie-Bathgate Rail Link, creating a new direct link between Glasgow and Edinburgh. There is also a proposal to create a new rail link across the city with the Crossrail Glasgow project.



Template:See also

Edinburgh’s suburban network is less dense than Glasgow’s. Edinburgh’s main station is Waverley. The main railway line through the city centre runs in a cutting immediately below Edinburgh Castle. A secondary station is at Haymarket in the west of the city. Railway lines running north from Edinburgh to Fife and the Highlands cross the Firth of Forth via the Forth Bridge. Lines in and around Edinburgh are:

The Edinburgh rail network is being expanded with the construction of the Waverley Line to the Borders, and the Edinburgh-Bathgate Line has been extended by the Airdrie-Bathgate Rail Link. A project to open a rail link to Edinburgh Airport was cancelled in September 2007 by the Scottish Government in favour of construction of a station at nearby Gogar which will connect with the Edinburgh tram network to take passengers to the terminal.[12] A proposal to re-open the Edinburgh suburban railway line has been made by campaigning groups.[13]

Rural linesEdit

File:West Highland Line looking north from Rannoch station 02.jpg
File:First ScotRail Class 170.JPG

Rural lines include the scenic West Highland Line, Kyle Line and Far North Line. These lines carry more passengers, mostly tourists, during the summer months, but provide a valuable link and social service during the winter months.

Many rural lines are single track. Trains terminating at the coastal towns of Oban and Mallaig connect with the Caledonian MacBrayne ferry services to certain islands including Skye and Mull.

The rural lines are:

InterCity & Sleeper servicesEdit

Main article: Caledonian Sleeper

ScotRail operates some services that venture south of the border: principally the Caledonian Sleeper to London Euston along the West Coast Main Line, and a Three times daily cross-country service between Newcastle upon Tyne and Glasgow Central via Carlisle and Kilmarnock.


Performance figures for National Express’s last quarter as franchise holder, July to September 2004, were:

Period% trains arriving within 5 mins of scheduled timeChange

Performance figures for First Group’s first quarter as franchise holder, October to December 2004, were:

Period% trains arriving within 5 mins of scheduled timeChange

First Group started operating the franchise on 17 October 2004.

The performance figures released by the Office for Rail Regulation (ORR) are as follows:

Period% trains arriving within
5 mins of scheduled time
(over three months)
Change over
same quarter the previous year
% trains arriving within
5 mins of scheduled time
Moving Annual Average (MAA)
Change over
previous year as a whole


  • The percentage change figures are not the actual increases in % but the percentage increase in the % value.
  • These values are very similar to the sector performance level.


In June 2009 a report by Strathclyde Partnership for Transport revealed passenger figures from ScotRail contain 7.2 million more passenger journeys than were actually made.[27] Transport Scotland said this gross overestimate did not affect the decision to extend the franchise (the franchise having been extended under controversial conditions in 2008).[28]

Rolling stockEdit

File:156457 at Oban.jpg

First ScotRail inherited a fleet of Class 150, Class 156, Class 158, Class 170, Class 314, Class 318, Class 320 and Class 334s from British Rail as well as Mark 2 carriages and Mark 3 sleepers for use on the Caledonian Sleepers from ScotRail.

First ScotRail contracted EWS to haul the Caledonian Sleeper services to London Euston. Class 90s were used south of Edinburgh and Glasgow Central with Class 67s used on the portions to Fort William, Aberdeen and Inverness. A dedicated pool has been created due to the need to fit cast steel brakes. Three Class 90s have been repainted in First ScotRail livery with EWS logos.

First ScotRail took the delivery of the last few Class 170 Turbostars when it took over the franchise.[29] These released the Class 150s for transfer to Arriva Trains Wales in late 2004 / early 2005.[30]

During 2005 the Edinburgh - North Berwick Line services were operated by EWS Class 90s with former Virgin West Coast Mark 3 carriages and a Driving Van Trailer. In late 2005 five Class 322s were transferred from One to replace these.

In 2007 First ScotRail received eight Class 158s from First Great Western, Northern Rail and South West Trains.[31]

Since December 2008 ScotRail has operated a set of DB Schenker Mark 2 carriages on a peak-hour Fife Circle Line service hauled by a Class 67. A second set was operated for a while.

In July 2008 Transport Scotland funded the acquisition of 22 three-carriage and 16 four-carriage Class 380 Desiros with the first entering service in December 2010. These trains operate Ayrshire and Inverclyde services, adding extra capacity and allowed the cascade of existing stock to the new Glasgow to Edinburgh services via the reopened Airdrie to Bathgate line.[32][33]

Current fleetEdit

Class Image Type Top speed Number Routes operated Built
mph km/h
Class 67 100px Diesel locomotive 125 200 Hired from DB Schenker Fife Circle Line
Caledonian Sleeper
Class 90 100px Electric locomotive 110 177 Hired from DB Schenker
(4 required per service night)
Caledonian Sleeper 1987-1990
Class 156 Super Sprinter 100px DMU 75 120 48 West Highland Line
Glasgow South Western Line
Whifflet Line
Shotts Line
Croy Line
Edinburgh Crossrail
Maryhill Line
Cumbernauld Line
Class 158 Express Sprinter 100px 90 145 48 Glasgow to Edinburgh via Falkirk Line
Edinburgh to Aberdeen Line
Highland Main Line
Croy Line
Aberdeen to Inverness Line
Kyle of Lochalsh Line
Far North Line
Edinburgh Crossrail
Whifflet Line
Edinburgh to Dunblane Line
Fife Circle Line
Shotts Line
Maryhill Line
Cumbernauld Line
Class 170 Turbostar 100px 100 161 59 Glasgow to Edinburgh via Falkirk Line
Edinburgh to Aberdeen Line
Highland Main Line
Fife Circle Line
Edinburgh Crossrail
Edinburgh to Dunblane Line
Croy Line
Maryhill Line
Cumbernauld Line
Tay Coast Line
Class 314 100px EMU 75 121 16 Cathcart Circle Lines
Inverclyde Line
Paisley Canal Line
Class 318 100px 90 145 21 Argyle Line
North Clyde Line
Class 320 100px 90 145 22 North Clyde Line
Argyle Line
Class 334 Juniper 100px 90 145 40 North Clyde Line
Argyle Line
Inverclyde Line
Class 380 Desiro 100px 100 160 22 (3 carriage)
16 (4 carriage)
Ayrshire Coast Line
Inverclyde Line
Glasgow to Edinburgh via Carstairs Line
North Berwick Line
Paisley Canal Line
Mark 2 carriage 100px carriage 100 160 22 Caledonian Sleeper
Fife Circle Line
Mark 3 carriage 100px Sleeper carriage 125 200 53 Caledonian Sleeper 1975-1988


The majority of Scotland’s 340 passenger stations are operated by ScotRail under Network Rail ownership. Glasgow Prestwick Airport station is owned and operated by the airport, Dunbar is operated by East Coast, and Edinburgh Waverley and Glasgow Central by Network Rail itself. ScotRail operates Lockerbie railway station but none of its services call there.


First ScotRail's fleet was maintained at Edinburgh Haymarket, Glasgow Shields Road, Corkerhill and Inverness depots. In early 2005 the rebuilt Glasgow Eastfield reopened.[34]


In June 2012 the Scottish Government announced that when the franchise is retendered in 2014, the Caledonian Sleeper services will be transferred to a standalone own franchise.[35][36]

See alsoEdit


  1. Companies House extract company no SC185018 First ScotRail Limited
  2. Shortlist of ScotRail bidders puts three in the ring Herald Scotland 28 October 2003
  3. FirstGroup clinches Scottish rail franchise The Telegraph 12 June 2004
  4. First Welcomes Award of ScotRail Franchise First ScotRail Press Release 11 June 2004
  5. Transport Scotland Framework Document - Scottish Executive, December 2005
  6. Scot Rail franchise extension agreed Transport Scotland News 3 April 2008
  7. FirstGroup Plc statement: Extension of First ScotRail Franchise First ScotRail Press Release 3 April 2008
  8. ScotRail 25th Anniversary Publicity Materials Transport Scotland
  9. Script error
  10. Today's Railways Issue 81
  11. 11.0 11.1 Airdrie-Bathgate rail link
  12. Script error
  13. Capital Rail Action Group website
  14. ORR Statistics for Q1 2007/08
  15. ORR Statistics for Q2 2007/08
  16. ORR Statistics for Q3 2007/08
  17. ORR Statistics for Q4 2007/08
  18. Office of Rail Regulation - National Rail Trends, (2008), p. 22
  19. Office of Rail Regulation - National Rail Trends, (2009), p. 5
  20. Office of Rail Regulation - National Rail Trends, (2009), p. 5
  21. Office of Rail Regulation - National Rail Trends, (2009), p. 24
  22. Office of Rail Regulation - National Rail Trends, (2009), p. 5
  23. Office of Rail Regulation - National Rail Trends, (2010), p. 5
  24. Script error
  25. Script error
  26. 26.0 26.1 26.2 Script error
  27. Script error
  28. Script error
  29. Class 170
  30. Class 150
  31. Class 158
  32. New Electric Trains for Scotland's Growing Railways Transport Scotland News 11 July 2008
  33. Script error
  34. Eastfield Depot 1904 -1992
  35. £5 billion investment in rail improvement plan Scottish National Party Media Centre 21 June 2012
  36. Scottish government sets out rail strategy International Railway Journal 22 June 2012

External linksEdit

Template:Commons category

Template:S-start Template:S-bef Template:S-ttl Template:S-inc Template:S-end

Template:Current UK TOCs Template:FirstGroup

Ad blocker interference detected!

Wikia is a free-to-use site that makes money from advertising. We have a modified experience for viewers using ad blockers

Wikia is not accessible if you’ve made further modifications. Remove the custom ad blocker rule(s) and the page will load as expected.