Quicker, more comfortable, better value, and easier journeys from door to door

When Transport Scotland announced that Abellio would run the new ScotRail franchise, starting in April 2015, they told the nation to expect a transformation in rail travel across the country. That may sound quite a task, but it is a true reflection of ministers’ ambition for Scotland’s railway and the changes we have promised to deliver.

We have put together a clear plan which will make sure your journeys are quicker, more comfortable, more reliable, better value, and easier – not just when travelling on the train, but throughout your entire trip from door to door. In short, we have re-thought the ScotRail service to make sure it is in tune with the way you have told us you want to live whether travelling to work, on business, visiting friends and family or to enjoy the great outdoors.

On routes between Scotland’s seven cities, we will introduce faster, more spacious trains with more carriages and new onboard facilities. We will also speed up journeys elsewhere on the ScotRail network by sharpening timetables and improving connections between our services wherever there is an opportunity to do so.

Our plans to dramatically increase the availability of smartcard and internet tickets will make journeys more convenient and cheaper. Significant discounts will be available on many current fares to reflect how often and when you travel; buying tickets will be quicker at ticket offices; and you will be able to hold tickets for rail, many other public transport trips, car parking and cycle hire on a single smartcard.

We will also put in place a range of other new measures to make sure your journeys to and from our stations are faster and easier. For example, there will be better connections with buses, new tickets combining rail with ferry and air travel, and we will create the UK’s largest cycle/rail network. New customer information sources will provide full details on all transport choices to and from ScotRail stations, including walking and cycling, putting you in control of your journey. Our intention is that ScotRail will play a key role in delivering a truly integrated national transport network.

Finally, many train journeys will become an experience in their own right. We will design services in the most beautiful parts of the country to become a world class attraction, and accommodate new steam services run by specialist operators on a number of routes.

Coming Next

Over the coming weeks we will provide you with regular updates setting out greater detail on the improvements we will make to your journeys. We will tell you about our plans for:
• Faster, more comfortable and more reliable train travel
• Smarter, lower cost journeys
• More pleasant and useful stations
• Easier journeys from door to door
• The Great Scenic Railways of Scotland
We will also set out specific benefits, fares and facilities we will introduce for business travellers, leisure travellers and commuters.

Our next update will tell you how the new franchise will deliver on the Government’s National Performance Framework to create a railway the whole country can be proud of.