- First ScotRail
Infobox Rail companies
bgcolor = white
image_filename = 170433_at_Edinburgh_Waverley.jpg
widthpx = 265px
franchise = ScotRail
17 October 2004 – 2014
logo_filename = ScotRaillogo.jpg
nameforarea = Region
abbr = SR
Cumbria Northumberland Newcastle upon Tyne
fleet = 309
stations = 336
website = www.firstscotrail.com
First ScotRail is the
brandunder which FirstGroupruns its railwayfranchise to operate all domestic passengerservices within Scotland, as well as the cross-border Caledonian Sleeperservice to London.
The brand name
ScotRailwas originally used to denote services provided in Scotland by British Rail. After privatisation, the Scottish rail franchise was called ScotRail and the name has since been inherited by its train operating companies. On 17 October 2004the franchise was transferred to First Group from National Express resulting in the rebranding from "ScotRail" to "First ScotRail"cite news
title = FirstGroup Plc ScotRail Franchise Signed
publisher = FirstGroup press release
date = 2004-08-20
url = http://www.firstgroup.com/scotrail/content/news/view-scotrail-press-release.php?id=00000000022
accessdate = 2007-10-04 ] . This was the first time the franchise has been renegotiated since the
privatisation of British Rail. Franchises are now controlled by the Scottish Governmentbut on this occasion was dealt with by the Strategic Rail Authorityas their agent.
In September 2008 the Scottish Government's agency
Transport Scotlandannounced that all First ScotRail trains (including from the Strathclyde Partnership for Transport) would be eventually repainted in a new, blue livery with white Saltiremarkings on the carriage ends. [http://www.transportscotland.gov.uk/ScotRail-25th-anniversary] The services will again be rebranded, with less emphasis on the "First" and will be marketed as "ScotRail: Scotland's Railway". [http://news.scotsman.com/scotland/-ScotRail-marks-birthday-with.4516834.jp]
The First ScotRail network is a mixture of long-distance,
commuterand rural lines, totalling 1,696 miles (2,729 km), handling 66.1 million passenger journeys in 2003-4.
Express services operate between Edinburgh, Glasgow,
Inverness, Dundeeand Aberdeen. The Highland Main Linelinks Inverness to the south. Some stretches of main line, such as the Highland Main Line, are single track, and express services must call at intermediate stations to permit trains coming in the opposite direction to pass.
The main lines of Scotland are as follows:
Ayrshire Coast Line
Edinburgh to Aberdeen Line
Fife Circle Line
*Glasgow-Edinburgh via Carstairs Line
*Glasgow-Edinburgh via Falkirk Line
*Glasgow to Aberdeen Line
Glasgow South Western Line
Highland Main Line
Tay Coast Line
The densest part of the network is the
suburban network around Glasgow, consisting of 183 stations — the second largest suburban rail network in the UK after London. Much of it is 25kV AC electrified. Glasgow’s main terminal stations are Central Station and Queen Street Station. Although First ScotRail operate the trains in this area, they do so under the Strathclyde Partnership for Transport(SPT) brand. However, the Strathclyde Partnership for Transportis now not having any input into specifying rail services in the Glasgowarea. DMUs and EMUs that are livered in the Carmine & Cream livery are being stripped of the Strathclyde logos. [ Today's RailwaysIssue 81] The lines in and around Glasgow are defined as follows:
Ayrshire Coast Line
Cathcart Circle Lines
Motherwell to Cumbernauld Line
North Clyde Line(to be extended to Edinburgh [http://www.airdriebathgateraillink.co.uk/plan/ Airdrie-Bathgate rail link] ] )
Paisley Canal Line
Glasgow South Western Line
Glasgow Airport Rail Link(under construction)
Construction work has already started on the rail link to Glasgow Airport, and it is anticipated that this service will begin operation in 2009. The North Clyde Line will eventually be linked to the Edinburgh-Bathgate Line (see Edinburgh, below) when the proposed
Airdrie-Bathgate Rail Linkis completed, 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 Glasgowproject.
Edinburgh’s suburban network is less dense than Glasgow’s, but is still relatively extensive. Edinburgh’s main station is Waverley Station. The main railway line that passes through the city centre runs in a cutting immediately below Edinburgh Castle. A secondary station is located at Haymarket in the west of the city. Railway lines running north from Edinburgh to Fifeand the Highlands cross the Firth of Forthvia the Forth Bridge. The lines in and around Edinburgh are defined as follows:
*Edinburgh-Bathgate Line (to be extended to Glasgow)
North Berwick Line
Waverley Line(under construction)
The Edinburgh rail network is being expanded with the construction of the Waverley Line to the Borders, and the Edinburgh-Bathgate Line will eventually form part of the
Airdrie-Bathgate Rail Link. A project to open a rail link to Edinburgh Airport was cancelled in September 2007 by the Scottish Governmentcite news
title = It's £30m down the drain
publisher = The Scotsman
url = http://news.scotsman.com/topics.cfm?tid=607&id=1546642007
accessdate = 2007-10-02 ] . A proposal to re-open the Edinburgh suburban railway line has been made by campaigning groups [http://www.reopenthesouthsub.org.uk/ Capital Rail Action Group website] ] .
Rural lines include the scenic
West Highland Line, Kyle Lineand Far North Line. These lines carry more passengers, consisting mostly of tourist traffic, during the summer months, but nevertheless provide a valuable link and social service during the winter months, when they are less heavily used.
Many rural lines are single-track. Services terminating at the coastal towns of
Oban, Mallaigand Kyle of Lochalshconnect with the Caledonian MacBrayneferry services to the islands, such as Isle of Skye, Isle of Mullor Isle of Lewis. Corrour railway station, an isolated stop on Rannoch Mooron the West Highland Line, featured as a location in the 1996 film "Trainspotting".
The rural lines run along the following routes:
Far North Line
Kyle of Lochalsh Line
West Highland Line
InterCity and Sleeper services
The company also operates some services that venture south of the border; principally the
Caledonian Sleeperservices to London Euston, along the West Coast Main Line, and a twice daily cross country service between Newcastle upon Tyneand Stranraervia Carlisleand Kilmarnock.
The majority of Scotland’s 340 passenger stations are operated by First ScotRail with
Network Railretaining ownership — the exception being Prestwick International Airport station, which is both owned and operated by the airport. Only three other stations in Scotland are not operated by First ScotRail: Dunbar (NXEC), Edinburgh Waverley ( Network Rail) and Glasgow Central (Network Rail). Curiously, ScotRail operate Lockerbie railway stationbut none of their services call there.
The present diesel fleet comprises a mixture of Class 156 Super Sprinter and Class 158 Express Sprinter units, which were acquired during the
British Railera, and Class 170 Turbostar sets acquired post-privatisation.
The Scotland-Euston overnight services comprise ex-InterCity Mark 2 and Mark 3 sleeper coaches, which are hauled by
EWS locomotives. In 2006, First ScotRail came to an agreement with EWS to use a dedicated fleet of Class 90 locomotives for the sleeper service between London and Edinburgh/Glasgow. This small fleet is painted in ScotRail livery with a small EWS logo beneath the cab.
During 2005, the Edinburgh-
North Berwickline were operated by EWS-Class 90 electric locomotives with former Virgin TrainsMark 3 coaches. In late 2005, Class 322 units were reintroduced onto the line. A refurbishmentprogram is taking place for these units. It is considered bad use of resources to use diesel trains on an entirely-electric line, thus precluding the use of shorter Turbostar units.
The previous operator of the Scottish franchise (National Express - ScotRail) had utilised Class 101 diesel units and Class 303 electric units, but these were all been withdrawn prior to First ScotRail taking over the franchise.
ScotRail has also operated Class 150 diesel but these have transferred to other operators following deliveries of new trains.
Transport Scotlandhave funded the acquisition of 38 Class 380 Siemens DesiroEMUs, to enter service from late 2010. These trains will operate Ayrshire, Inverclyde and Glasgow Airport services, adding extra capacity on these routes and allowing the cascade of existing stock to operate the new Glasgow to Edinburgh services via the reopened Airdrie to Bathgate line. [citeweb|url=http://www.railwaygazette.com/news_view/article/2008/07/8655/scotland_orders_desiro_fleet.html|title=Scotland orders Desiro fleet|date= July 11 2008|publisher=Railway Gazette]
The performance figures for National Express’s last quarter as franchise holders, July to September 2004, are:
* 82.8% of trains arriving within 5 minutes of the scheduled time. Down 4.2% on the same quarter the previous year.
* 84.2% of trains arriving within 5 minutes of the scheduled time. Down 1.0% on the previous year as a whole.
The performance figures for First Group’s first quarter as franchise holders, October to December 2004, are:
* 79.8% of trains arriving within 5 minutes of the scheduled time. Down 1.9% on the same quarter the previous year
* 83.7% of trains arriving within 5 minutes of the scheduled time. Down 0.5% on the previous year as a whole.
Note: First Group did not start operating the franchise until
The performance figures released by the Office for Rail Regulation (ORR) [ [http://www.rail-reg.gov.uk/upload/pdf/341.pdf ORR Statistics for Q1 2007/08] ] for the first quarter of the financial year 2007/8 (April to June 2007) are as follows:
* 91.4% of trains arriving within 5 minutes of the scheduled time. Up 0.8% on the same quarter the previous year
* 89.0% of trains arriving within 5 minutes of the scheduled time. Up 0.2% on the previous year as a whole.
The performance figures released by the Office for Rail Regulation (ORR) [ [http://www.rail-reg.gov.uk/upload/pdf/347.pdf ORR Statistics for Q2 2007/08] ] for the second quarter of the financial year 2007/8 (July to September 2007) are as follows:
* 93.0% of trains arriving within 5 minutes of the scheduled time. Up 2.2% on the same quarter the previous year
* 89.6% of trains arriving within 5 minutes of the scheduled time. Up 0.7% on the previous year as a whole.
The performance figures released by the Office for Rail Regulation (ORR) [ [http://www.rail-reg.gov.uk/upload/pdf/356.pdf ORR Statistics for Q3 2007/08] ] for the third quarter of the financial year 2007/8 (October to December 2007) are as follows:
* 87.3% of trains arriving within 5 minutes of the scheduled time. Up 2.8% on the same quarter the previous year
* 90.1% of trains arriving within 5 minutes of the scheduled time. Up 0.6% on the previous year as a whole.
The performance figures released by the Office for Rail Regulation (ORR) [ [http://www.rail-reg.gov.uk/upload/pdf/375.pdf ORR Statistics for Q4 2007/08] ] for the fourth quarter of the financial year 2007/8 (January to March 2008) are as follows:
* 90.5% of trains arriving within 5 minutes of the scheduled time. Up 2.0% on the same quarter the previous year
* 90.6% of trains arriving within 5 minutes of the scheduled time. Up 0.6% on the 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.
Transport in Scotland
Transport in Edinburgh
Transport in Glasgow
Strathclyde Partnership for Transport
Transport Initiatives Edinburgh
Transport Scotland(government agency)
List of railway lines in Great Britain
Scottish Government. " [http://www.scotland.gov.uk/Publications/2005/08/25100154 Scottish Transport Statistics No. 24: 2005 Edition] ". Accessed on October 2, 2005.
* Scottish Parliament Information Centre. " [http://www.scottish.parliament.uk/business/research/briefings-04/sb04-64.pdf Changes to the regulation of Scotland's railways] ". Accessed on
October 2, 2005.
* RailBritain.com. " [http://www.railbritain.com/?option=displaypage&Itemid=131&op=page First ScotRail fleet size as of December 2004] ". Accessed on
October 2, 2005.
* [http://www.firstscotrail.com/ First ScotRail]
* [http://www.firstgroup.com/scotrail/travelinfo/mapsandroutes.html ScotRail network map]
* [http://www.nationalrail.co.uk/system/galleries/download/print_maps/glasgow.pdf Map of Glasgow & Edinburgh rail network] (National Rail)
* [http://www.firstscotrailrecruitment.com/fsr/index.asp First ScotRail Recruitment Website]
* [http://news.scotsman.com/topics.cfm?tid=139 ScotRail reports] - the Scotsman
* [http://www.fofnl.org.uk/ Friends of the Far North Line Website] - Friends of the Far North Line
s-ttl|title=Operator of ScotRail franchise
years=2004 — present
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