Adventure seeking cyclists and local communities along the West Highland line can now benefit from more seats and enhanced on-board facilities, thanks to the introduction of ScotRail’s Highland Explorer carriages to and from Mallaig.
ScotRail ran the first of its Highland Explorer carriages, which boast 20 cycle spaces and were a UK-first, on the Mallaig branch of the West Highland Line earlier today, Wednesday, 19 April.
The carriages operate on two services each day – the early morning service from Mallaig to Glasgow Queen Street and the evening Glasgow Queen Street to Mallaig.
Northbound services run Monday to Friday, whilst Southbound services run Tuesday to Saturday.
The move benefits local communities as well as adventure seeking cyclists, as the addition of the carriages on the route means customers benefit from 15 per cent more seats, more luggage space, and access to an additional toilet on board.
The Highland Explorer carriages have larger cushioned seats, USB and plug charging points, and also feature table maps detailing the route, with recommendations on where to walk, cycle, and visit. QR codes at each table also provide links for further inspiration on places to visit in Scotland.
The early morning service from Mallaig to Glasgow Queen Street calls at Fort William during the morning peak, providing more seats for commuters.
To help support active travel, ScotRail also removed the additional charge for its Highland Explorer ticket earlier this month, meaning customers using the service on the Mallaig line now have access to the active travel carriage without having to pay the £10 supplement.
The removal of the additional fare means that customers can now purchase the Highland Explorer ticket for the price of a standard class fare.
The repriced ticket will provide customers with guaranteed access to the carriage allowing them to sit closer to their cycle, or other large item of luggage.
More information is available on the ScotRail website at scotrail.co.uk/scotrail-highland-explorer .
Scott Prentice, ScotRail Head of Business Development, said:
“The changes we’ve made - by introducing the carriages to the Mallaig line and by removing the additional fare for our Highland Explorer service - proves that we’ve been listening to feedback from both customers and stakeholders on how make the most of these fantastic carriages and deliver the best service possible.
“With more available seats and no additional charge for customers sit with their bikes, it allows more people before to enjoy the iconic scenery the West Highland Line has to offer.
“These changes help to make the service a more attractive option, while supporting active travel and our continued recovery from the pandemic.”