First ScotRail


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
regions = Scotland
abbr = SR
secregions = Cumbria
Northumberland
Newcastle upon Tyne
fleet = 309
stations = 336
parent_company = First Group
website = www.firstscotrail.com

First ScotRail is the brand under which FirstGroup runs its railway franchise to operate all domestic passenger services within Scotland, as well as the cross-border Caledonian Sleeper service to London.

The brand name ScotRail was 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 2004 the 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 Government but on this occasion was dealt with by the Strategic Rail Authority as their agent.

In September 2008 the Scottish Government's agency Transport Scotland announced that all First ScotRail trains (including from the Strathclyde Partnership for Transport) would be eventually repainted in a new, blue livery with white Saltire markings 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]

Network

The First ScotRail network is a mixture of long-distance, commuter and rural lines, totalling 1,696 miles (2,729 km), handling 66.1 million passenger journeys in 2003-4.

Main lines

Express services 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 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

Glasgow

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 Transport is now not having any input into specifying rail services in the Glasgow area. DMUs and EMUs that are livered in the Carmine & Cream livery are being stripped of the Strathclyde logos. [ Today's Railways Issue 81] The lines in and around Glasgow are defined as follows:


*Argyle Line
*Ayrshire Coast Line
*Cathcart Circle Lines
*Croy Line
*Cumbernauld Line
*Inverclyde Line

*Maryhill Line
*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
*Shotts Line
*Glasgow South Western Line
*Whifflet 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 Link is 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 Glasgow project.

Edinburgh

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 Fife and the Highlands cross the Firth of Forth via the Forth Bridge. The lines in and around Edinburgh are defined as follows:
*Edinburgh-Bathgate Line (to be extended to Glasgow)
*Edinburgh Crossrail
*Edinburgh-Dunblane line
*North Berwick Line
*Shotts 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

Rural lines include the scenic West Highland Line, Kyle Line and 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, Mallaig and Kyle of Lochalsh connect with the Caledonian MacBrayne ferry services to the islands, such as Isle of Skye, Isle of Mull or Isle of Lewis.

Corrour railway station, an isolated stop on Rannoch Moor on the West Highland Line, featured as a location in the 1996 film "Trainspotting".

The rural lines run along the following routes:
*Aberdeen-Inverness Line
*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 Sleeper services to London Euston, along the West Coast Main Line, and a twice daily cross country service between Newcastle upon Tyne and Stranraer via Carlisle and Kilmarnock.

tations

The majority of Scotland’s 340 passenger stations are operated by First ScotRail with Network Rail retaining 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 station but none of their services call there.

Rolling stock

Current fleet

The present diesel fleet comprises a mixture of Class 156 Super Sprinter and Class 158 Express Sprinter units, which were acquired during the British Rail era, and Class 170 Turbostar sets acquired post-privatisation.

The present electric fleet includes Class 314, Class 318, Class 320, Class 322 and Class 334 Juniper units.

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 Berwick line were operated by EWS-Class 90 electric locomotives with former Virgin Trains Mark 3 coaches. In late 2005, Class 322 units were reintroduced onto the line. A refurbishment program 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.

Future fleet

Transport Scotland have funded the acquisition of 38 Class 380 Siemens Desiro EMUs, 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]

Performance

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 17 October 2004.

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.

Note:
* 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.

ee also

* Transport in Scotland
* Transport in Edinburgh
* Transport in Glasgow
*
* Caledonian Sleeper
* Strathclyde Partnership for Transport
* Transport Initiatives Edinburgh
* Glasgow Subway
* Transport Scotland (government agency)
* List of railway lines in Great Britain

References

* 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.

External links

* [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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