How we’re keeping the railway as safe as possible

Last updated: Friday, 4 August 2023

Doesn’t it feel like such a long time ago that we could hop on a train and travel wherever and whenever we felt like it? The daily commute into town, meeting friends at the station to go to a concert or using the train as part of a bigger trip, all seem like distant memories. While we navigate out of the COVID lockdown months there’s a lot to get our heads around to feel comfortable going back to a more ‘normal’ way of life that we enjoyed in the past.

At the time of writing (end of June 2020) the overarching message is still to only use the train if you have to. And that’s just to ensure that those that do need to travel for work can get a seat away from another person. It goes against everything we’ve done in the past where we were encouraging everyone to move up to allow all space to be used. Times really have changed!

ScotRail staff cleaning a train

Train travel is going to look a bit different for a while and we know that it can create feelings of anxiety and nervousness. All ScotRail staff are all here to help. From the social media team to those in the stations and on the train. If you ever feel anxious or have any questions about travelling please do just speak to a member of the team.

For now though, we wanted to let you know what we’re doing to make the railway as clean, safe and as pleasant as it can be for those travelling just now and for everyone else in the future when we can travel more freely again, whenever that may be.


Over the past few months we’ve all sang happy birthday as we washed our hands, channelled an MI5 detective as we tried to get our hands on hand sanitiser and stocked up on disinfectant wipes … so we know how important cleanliness is. And it’s absolutely the same on the railway. Our cleaning teams have always done a brilliant job at keeping our trains squeaky clean but they really stepped up during the past few months. Team members were redeployed from other areas to help with cleaning so that train travel could be as safe as possible for all our amazing key workers travelling to work each day. While we could go on and on about how we’re keeping the trains clean, let us show you.

If you’re ever on a train and it doesn’t look as clean as you would expect it to, please either speak to the train staff or drop a tweet to the social media team. Every carriage has a number so be sure to pass that on and we’ll get it sorted asap.

Social distancing

It’s hard to believe that it was less than six months ago that social distancing became one of the most used words in our vocabulary. Before that, any form of travel and lots of personal space never really went hand in hand. But it’s everywhere in our lives now and that includes inside stations and on the trains.
In our major stations you’ll see floor markings showing what a two-metre distance looks like. This is to help while you wait to buy a ticket, move through the station or board a train. It can be easy to forget, particularly if your mind is focussed on something else. On board our trains most seats need to be left empty in order for social distancing to happen so we’re asking that if a train looks “busy”, in the sense that you wouldn’t be able to socially distance easily, that you wait for the next train if possible. Here’s a wee video we made to show what social distancing looks like on the railway.

Thank you for only travelling when it’s essential and for following the guidelines set out by the Scottish government. We’re putting everything into ensuring that train travel in Scotland is safe and clean just now and in the future.