ScotRail is confirming that it will provide more seats and more net zero carbon trains during the 2021 United Nations Climate Change Conference (COP26) at the SECC in Glasgow.
During COP26, extra carriages and frequent electric rail services will be provided until late at night – after midnight on some routes – to help delegates, attendees and the people of Glasgow get around the city as smoothly as possible.
It’s estimated up to 25,000 people will attend the COP26 event through the duration of the conference, and as many as 14,000 people will be at the SECC at any one time. This means train services throughout the event will be busier than usual.
ScotRail has been working hard with officials and industry partners to prepare for the summit for more than two years, following the postponement of the conference last year due to COVID-19.
The train operator will run services later into the night, including some after midnight, to give delegates the opportunity to attend events, while still allowing enough time for vital overnight maintenance work on trains and infrastructure.
Net Zero carbon electric trains will leave Glasgow later than normal each night of the summit to locations including Edinburgh via Falkirk High, and via Airdrie and Bathgate, Ayr, Stirling, Dunblane, Partick, Dalmuir, and Hamilton.
ScotRail will operate all trains on the Dalmuir to Motherwell / Larkhall line – which calls at Exhibition Centre station – with the maximum number six carriages. Trains between Glasgow and Edinburgh via Falkirk High will also operate with the maximum eight carriages throughout COP26, and key services to and from the city centre will also benefit from more seats on extra carriages.
Customers travelling between Glasgow Queen Street and Glasgow Central station will be able to take advantage of an all-electric shuttle bus service, providing an eco-friendly link between the two stations.
The timetable will be introduced on Monday, 1 November and will remain in place Monday to Saturday for a fortnight, until the conference ends on Friday, 12 November.
Transport to and from venues will be free for all COP26 registered attendees and volunteers assisting with the delivery of the event. Delegates and volunteers will be provided with a smartcard on arrival at the conference, which will provide the holder with free use of all public transport from their accommodation to the venue for the duration of the conference.
With services across the country expected to be very busy, ScotRail is advising customers to plan ahead and check their journeys before travelling. And there’s also a reminder that the wearing of face coverings onboard trains and in stations – under cover and open-air platforms – is mandatory due to Scottish Government COVID-19 regulations.
More information can be found on the train operator’s website and through its social media channels.
David Simpson, ScotRail Operations Director, said:
“We are absolutely committed to providing the best possible transport experience for delegates and our regular customers during this important event.
“We have been working closely with organisers, local authorities and industry partners to balance the needs of delegates and customers across Scotland.
“Our extra late-night trains will ensure that attendees are able to use Scotland’s Railway, the cleanest and greenest mode of transport, to get to and from events quickly and easily.
“Regular customers should be aware that services close to venues may be busier than usual around event times and journeys could be affected, however, by adding more carriages, and putting on more trains, we will look to minimise the impact to their routine journeys.”
Transport Minister Graeme Dey, said:
“I’m delighted that Scotrail is responding to the demands COP26 will create with more net zero carbon trains running for longer during this key event. It is the ideal opportunity to showcase our, and their, commitment to a greener, cleaner railway in Scotland.
“With only days to go until world leaders arrive in Glasgow to address the growing climate crisis, Scotland’s Railway is well on track towards full decarbonisation of passenger services. At present around 75 per cent of ScotRail passengers already travel on electric rail services.
“We are fully committed to ensuring that rail plays a key role in our plans to make travel more sustainable in Scotland, by encouraging more people to choose to travel sustainably by rail. Decarbonising rail to the fullest extent will also maximise the benefits for wider transport emissions.
“Across the Scottish Government, we are taking decisive action that does not shy away from transport’s role as a large emitting sector as part of our wider ambitions to become a Net Zero Nation.
“COP26 provides us and Scotrail with a platform for Scotland to demonstrate our achievements to date and our ambitions on a global stage.”