Economic Development

As well as the environmental and social impacts, the rail industry provides a wide range of economic benefits and is essential to Scotland’s growth.

Scotland’s Railway connects people with jobs and learning, businesses with customers, and visitors and tourists to destinations and attractions. Our stations and services help local communities connect with opportunities for growth and prosperity. As one of Scotland’s largest employers, the rail network also provides employment to many people across the country.

Everything we do at ScotRail is focussed on creating a better Scotland for all. Last year, we spent £19 million on local to small enterprises (SME’s), from employment opportunities and our commitment to paying the living wage, to employee spending power and reduced road congestion, our work goes beyond trains on tracks.

As a measure of the value of goods and services, it is estimated that the Scottish rail industry and its supply chain brings a gross value added of up to £670 million each year and employs almost 13,000 people. (source: Oxera Consulting).

Since receiving Living Wage Accreditation, we have contributed more than £800 million to the country’s economy. Paying the Living Wage not only benefits our employees but ensures that others working ScotRail’s supply chain receive the Living Wage too. We want to ensure that we make a positive contribution at a local, regional and national level.

We work with job centres to provide train tickets for job seekers to get to interviews, and then supply them with a season ticket for their first month of work. Local job centres have more information on this scheme if you wish to find out more.

Over the past few years, many disused railway buildings have been restored and redeveloped into galleries, shops, studios and other community spaces through grants from ScotRail’s Stations Community Regeneration Fund. In total, our partners and ScotRail have invested over £3m in bringing redundant or under-used space back in to use for local community benefit.

We have continued to grow our relationship with Scotland’s Towns Partnership, which can make a real difference for the communities we serve. We are determined to provide wider economic and social benefits for Scottish communities and recognise the role of the railway network and the growing importance of the railway in supporting sustainable economic growth, the value of enhanced connectivity to our stations, and the necessity for integrated transport systems.

Our long-term focus on delivering for Scotland has been more difficult than ever following a tough economic period driven by the uncertainty of Brexit and the Covid-19 pandemic. Throughout all of this we have maintained our commitment to delivering major passenger benefits aimed at improving Scotland’s Railway. Our ongoing investments in more trains, faster journey times, and improved infrastructure make it easier for other businesses to trade, co-operate and compete. Not only that, but we are working hard to improve our services for the millions of people that choose to travel with us for work, education, leisure and tourism.