From Monday 12 December, commuters heading to Inverness will have a new early morning train to get them into the city.
The new Monday-Saturday service will leave Perth at 05:08 calling at Dunkeld & Birnam, Pitlochry, Blair Atholl, Dalwhinnie, Kingussie, Aviemore and Carrbridge, before arriving at Inverness just after 8 am.
At present the first train leaves Kingussie at 07:19. It will continue to operate, arriving in Inverness at 08:38.
Southbound, a new service departs Inverness at 05:36 calling at all stations and ‘becoming’ the existing Blair Atholl service that sets off at 07:12. This reaches Edinburgh around 09:25, and will also provide a connection at Perth for Glasgow arriving at 09:15.
Fergus Ewing, Cabinet Secretary for Rural Economy and Connectivity, said:
“These new services are good news, offering more frequent and timely services that will benefit rail passengers and businesses in Inverness and the surrounding area. Good public transport links such as rail are proven to be key drivers of local economies, helping to connect communities and businesses, and opening up areas for trade and investment.”
Phil Verster, managing director of the ScotRail Alliance said:
“Inverness attracts a growing number of commuters and we are pleased to be able to add these two additional early morning service to help meet demand. As part of our Revolution in Rail timetable, more timetable improvements will follow in 2018 including an hourly service to Nairn, Forres and Elgin, and hourly services alternating to/from Edinburgh and Glasgow, with limited calls south of Perth.”
Stewart Nicol, chief executive of Inverness Chamber of Commerce said:
“These are extremely welcome additions to the rail services serving the Inverness and Highland business community. Businesses across the Highlands now have a daily rail service which gets them into the centre of both Glasgow and Edinburgh before 9:30am. Just as important for the Inverness business community is the fact that the first train into the city from the Central Belt now arrives well before the start of the working day for many Highland businesses. These additional services will be of significant benefit to businesses based in Inverness.’
HITRANS Chair James Stockan said: “HITRANS is delighted to learn of the announcement of these new services. As our studies have shown, the Highland area has been out of step with comparable regions elsewhere in the UK and Europe which can access the national capital before 10:00. This will enable us to do business more effectively without the need for overnights or that unappealing early A9 drive. And the new morning peak service into Inverness gives people from Badenoch and Strathspey the same ability to commute for work, education and training as folk from Kyle, Lairg and Elgin.”
Notes to editors
The Revolution in Rail, announced by the Scottish Government in March 2016, will deliver the largest programme of benefits to rail passengers in a generation. ScotRail will deliver 200 new services across Scotland, providing 20,000 more seats every day.