Celebrating 40 years of ScotRail

Proud to play a part in keeping Scotland connected since 1983

We’re celebrating our 40th anniversary, marking four decades of serving Scotland’s railways. From the UK’s most northerly station of Thurso, all the way down to Gretna Green in the Borders, our aim is to help you get from A to B and our team of colleagues work hard, day-in-day-out, to make that happen.

To mark the occasion, here is exclusive footage of some of the nation’s most iconic rail bridges illuminated with stories of our customers and colleagues from over the years.

Featuring the Forth Bridge, New Clyde Bridge, Tay Bridge and Aberdeen’s River Dee Bridge, the emotive film also includes historic clips from the past four decades to show the progress and transformation since 1983.

From football fans and party goers to morning commuters, we're celebrating the passengers and staff members who make up Scotland’s railway. We hope you enjoy, and be sure to watch with sound on!

We’ve witnessed a huge amount of change in the past 40 years and have played a huge role the remarkable transformation of rail travel.

When ScotRail was introduced on 22 September 1983, it was as a result of an organisational restructure of British Rail. Twenty-five years later, we added the iconic Saltire into our logo in celebration of our journey to date, and that same logo now adorns our fleet of 345 trains, which travel more than 80,000 miles every day.

ScotRail is proud to have welcomed 81 new or reopened stations into the network. Auchinleck and Kilmaurs were first to join us in 1984, and we worked alongside Network Rail to open Inverness Airport Station in January this year, bringing our total number of stations across Scotland to 359.

Many of our existing sites have also been transformed, with Haymarket undergoing a spectacular renovation and the commuters and travellers who pass through Glasgow Queen Street benefitting from its £120m refurbishment.

The relaunch of the Borders Railway line in 2015 was a major milestone and allowed us to significantly expand our network across Southern Scotland. We were also able to help our west coast passengers by restoring the Larkhall-Hamilton and Anniesland scheme in 2005, along with a Stirling-Alloa route in 2008 and a later Airdrie-Bathgate addition.

2016 saw the total electrification of our Edinburgh – Glasgow via Falkirk High route and marked a major step forward in the move to a more efficient, reliable, and green railway.

Providing sustainable travel is one of our main priorities and we’re working on a strategy as part of the Scottish Government’s wider Decarbonisation Action Plan that will see us completely phase out our remaining diesel trains over the long term, replacing them with new, greener models.

Our biggest asset remains our staff force, who work tirelessly to help our customers. They’re the heart of our rail network, and more than 260 of them have been with us since day one. Their efforts ensure our passengers have the confidence to travel securely and sustainably throughout our network.

As we celebrate this landmark anniversary, we’re also renewing our commitment to delivering a safe, reliable, and green railway for our customers and want to thank everyone who uses our services for their continued support – we look forward to welcoming you onboard for years to come.

From powering the daily commute to family-favourite trips, whatever your journey, our railway family is here to keep Scotland connected.

Read about some of our colleagues, who have been with us for more than 40 years...

Jim Craig's British Rail Identity Card

Jim’s railway journey began in January 1975, when he started as a clerk at Stirling station, marking the start of an amazing 48-year career.

Struggling to find a job, Jim spotted a job advert for a clerk’s position at Stirling station in his local benefits office, or “The Burroo”. The staff there arranged an interview for him and the rest, as they say, is history.

Throughout his career, Jim has held various roles at ScotRail. He began as a GPR, covering ticket and parcel offices at Stirling, Larbert, Falkirk Grahamston, and Dunblane. He then moved on to the Enquiry and Reservation office at Stirling, before transferring to Buchanan House in 1983.

Jim worked his way through several departments when he was in the Customer Relations team, starting in the Passenger Manager’s office, then moving to Public Affairs, the Retail Manager’s department and then to the Customer Services department.

In 2005, Jim was offered the role of Business Correspondence Manager, where he remains today as a valued member of the Communications team - and not just because of his excellent baking skills.

Jim is a well-known fount of all knowledge and has helped thousands of colleagues, customers, and stakeholders in his role, resulting in many letters of gratitude over the years - something he is rightfully proud of.

Reflecting on the past 40 years at ScotRail, Jim’s favourite memories include working at the Commonwealth Games and the Ryder Cup in 2014 and, of course, meeting his future wife in Buchanan House in 1983.

Jim also fondly remembers rubbing shoulders with the stars back when the Motorail service ran from Stirling station. From the legendary Rod Hull and Emu to Lena Martell singing on her way to film Top of The Pops, Jim's stories are a reminder that there’s never a dull moment working for the railway.

Jackie Yule's British Rail Identity Card

Jackie is a ScotRail veteran, who recently celebrated a remarkable 40 years in the railway. Her journey began in August 1983, when her dad, who was a train driver, spotted an advert in the paper. Jackie applied, and so began an incredible four decades-long career.

Over the years, Jackie has worn several ScotRail hats. Starting in Telesales, then progressing to Travel Centre Clerical Officer 1 and 2, which evolved into Travel Shop 2. Finally, she found herself in Aberdeen’s Travel Shop, as the Team Leader.

Looking back on her 40 years at ScotRail, Jackie reflected on how different things were in 1983. When she first joined, it was still British Rail, and the Telesales office had no uniforms. Things changed when ScotRail took over though, and she got her first uniform that consisted of a tartan skirt and waistcoat.

Back then, it was a world of paper tickets, brown pay packets, and loose-leaf timetables – which had to be kept up to date manually when any amendments were sent from the publishers.

A memory that stands out for Jackie is the old Mystery Tours that ScotRail used to run, where customers would buy a ticket with no clue where they were going, and she remembers a trip from Aberdeen to Aviemore that was particularly good fun.

When asked about a career highlight, Jackie doesn’t pick a single moment, and instead reflects on the amazing milestone of reaching 40 years’ service whilst still loving her job.

For Jackie, working for ScotRail isn’t just a job – it’s also a family tradition. She’s the fourth generation in her family to work for Scotland’s Railway, a connection that makes her proud to be part of the ScotRail family.

To anyone considering a career with ScotRail in 2023, Jackie has some simple advice – “stop thinking about it and just join us”. With 40 years behind her, you would