Rural Scotland

Here are the consultation outcomes for our rural Scotland routes...

In the Fit for the Future consultation, ScotRail did not propose to make significant changes on the West Highland Lines from the May 2021 timetable and the proposed timetable would continue to operate the same level of service as it did in 2019.

ScotRail received seven responses from customers who travel on the West Highland Lines. This compares to 23,000 passengers along the route in 2019.

Following the consultation, ScotRail will implement the Fit for the Future timetable in May 2022 with no change to the level of service that was proposed for the West Highland Lines.

The future timetable will consider development work undertaken through the Transport Scotland West Highland Line Review Group; however, it is recognised that this will be further considered as part of Transport Scotland’s Strategic Transport Projects Review 2 (STPR2). Irrespective of that on-going activity, it is evident that there is a medium-term requirement for more capacity during the summer period and options such as additional services or the use of Inter7City high speed trains are being considered for when resources are available.

Click to view West Highlands Timetable May 2022

In the Fit for the Future consultation, ScotRail did not propose to make significant changes between Inverness and Kyle of Lochalsh from the May 2021 timetable and the proposed timetable would continue to operate the same level of service as it did in 2019.

ScotRail received 22 responses from customers who travel on the Kyle and Far North Lines, with the main theme highlighted being connections between services at Inverness. This compares to 23,000 passengers along the route in 2019, including 6,000 between Inverness and Kyle of Lochalsh.

Following the consultation, ScotRail will implement the Fit for the Future timetable in May 2022 with no change to the level of service that was proposed for the route between Inverness and Kyle of Lochalsh. Connections between services at Inverness were reviewed to identify if improvements could be made, but unfortunately no changes could be made.

The future timetable will consider any opportunities created through the delivery of the Far North Line corridor enhancements. In addition, the timetable will be kept under review to identify where changes can be made to improve connections.

Click to view North Highlands Timetable May 2022

In the Fit for the Future consultation, ScotRail did not propose to make significant changes on the Far North Line from the May 2021 timetable and the proposed timetable would continue to operate four trains per day to Wick and Thurso, with additional peak and off-peak services at the southern end of the route.

ScotRail received 22 responses from customers who travel on the Kyle and Far North Lines, with the main theme highlighted being the time of the last northbound train and connections between services at Inverness. This compares to 23,000 passengers along the route in 2019, including 11,000 on the Far North Line.

Following the consultation, ScotRail will implement the Fit for the Future timetable in May 2022 with no change to the level of service that was proposed for the route between Inverness and Kyle of Lochalsh. Connections between services at Inverness were reviewed to identify if improvements could be made, but unfortunately no changes could be made.

The future timetable will be developed as part of the delivery of the Far North Line corridor enhancements. In addition, the timetable will be kept under review to identify where changes can be made to improve connections.

Click to view North Highlands Timetable May 2022

In the Fit for the Future consultation, ScotRail proposed to restructure the timetable on this corridor to offer the following:

  • A regular hourly service during the day between Dumfries and Carlisle, with a train every two hours in the evening. This would give a more even interval all day and remove lengthy gaps between services.
  • A regular service every two hours between Glasgow and Dumfries for most of the day, with most services providing a through service to Carlisle. This change would result in fewer services per day between Glasgow and Dumfries but will give a timetable that removes lengthy gaps between services and provide a more customer friendly timetable that can be integrated with other public transport operators.
  • The discontinuation of through services between Dumfries and Newcastle.

ScotRail received 110 responses from customers who travel on services between Glasgow, Kilmarnock, Dumfries, Carlisle, and East Kilbride. This compares to 276,000 passenger trips per month in 2019 between Glasgow, Kilmarnock, Dumfries, and East Kilbride, including 49,000 passenger trips per month between Glasgow, Dumfries, and Carlisle. The main themes highlighted across the route between Glasgow, Kilmarnock, Dumfries, Carlisle, and East Kilbride were about frequency (50 per cent) and direct journey opportunities (14 per cent), with specific comments received about the time of the first northbound train from Auchinleck to Glasgow and the time of the last train from Glasgow to Dumfries.

Following the consultation, ScotRail are planning to make several changes to the proposed Fit for the Future timetable before it is introduced in May 2022. The core service level described above will be introduced in May 2022, but with the following amendments:

  • An additional early morning service from New Cumnock and Auchinleck to Glasgow arriving at around 07:35.
  • Changes to the evening peak between Glasgow and Dumfries to give two departures at around 16:11 and 17:27, instead of a single departure at 17:12.
  • A later last train from Glasgow to Dumfries departing Glasgow Central at around 22:13.

These changes will be made on the basis that we expect there to be demand for them. However, the timetable will be reviewed regularly to ensure that there is continued justification for these services.

Click to view Glasgow - Barrhead/Kilmarnock/Carlisle Timetable May 2022

In the Fit for the Future consultation, ScotRail proposed that from May 2022, the timetable would provide seven trains per day from Kilmarnock to Ayr, six trains per day from Ayr to Kilmarnock, a train every one or two hours between Ayr and Girvan, and five trains per day in each direction between Girvan and Stranraer.

ScotRail received 44 responses from customers who travel on services between Kilmarnock, Ayr, Girvan, and Stranraer. This compares to 16,000 passenger trips per month along the route in 2019. The main themes highlighted related to the frequency of services and times of the first and last trains.

Following the consultation, ScotRail will implement the Fit for the Future timetable in May 2022 with no change to the level of service that was proposed for the route between Kilmarnock, Ayr, Girvan, and Stranraer. The level of service for the route between Kilmarnock, Ayr, and Stranraer is similar to that provided on other routes that are of a similar rural nature. For example, on the routes between Inverness, Wick, and Kyle of Lochalsh, there are four end to end services to both Wick and Kyle of Lochalsh, with additional services to provide a more frequent service between Inverness, Dingwall, Invergordon and Lairg.

Click to view Glasgow - Barrhead/Kilmarnock/Carlisle Timetable May 2022

In the Fit for the Future consultation, ScotRail did not propose to make significant changes on the route between Aberdeen and Inverness from the May 2021 timetable and the proposed timetable would provide eleven trains per day in each direction between Aberdeen and Inverness, along with additional services between Elgin and Inverness and between Inverurie, Aberdeen and Montrose. Time has been included within the timetable to enable stops to be added at Inverness Airport railway station, which is being delivered by Network Rail, when the station opens.

ScotRail received 24 responses from customers who travel on services between Aberdeen and Inverness. This compares to 56,000 passenger trips per month along the route in 2019. The main themes highlighted were specific comments about connections at both Aberdeen and Inverness, and the times of first and last trains at Inverness.

Following the consultation, ScotRail will implement the Fit for the Future timetable in May 2022 with no change to the level of service that was proposed for the route between Aberdeen and Inverness. Connections at Aberdeen and Inverness have been reviewed and improvements made where possible, however, due to the largely single-track nature of the route, retiming services for one connection can often have consequences elsewhere that increase journey times or break connections. The times of first and last trains between Inverness and Elgin are constrained by the need for trains and staff to start and finish at Inverness and Network Rail’s requirement to close the route overnight for routine inspections and maintenance. Connections will be reviewed again for the December 2022 timetable when the loop at Inverness Airport railway station will be available, which will offer greater flexibility when planning services.

Click to view Inverness - Aberdeen Timetable May 2022

In the Fit for the Future consultation, ScotRail proposed that the May 2022 timetable would continue to provide an hourly local service between Montrose and Aberdeen for most of the day, with services extended to Inverurie, and additional services provided during peak periods. At times when local services don’t run, calls would be provided in services between Aberdeen and the Central Belt. Whilst the route has poor occupancy, the service supports faster journey times between Aberdeen and the Central Belt, and journey time plays an important part in making these longer distance routes a success.

ScotRail received 66 responses from customers who travel on services between the Central Belt, Montrose, and Aberdeen. This compares to 174,000 passenger trips per month along the route in 2019, including 10,000 passenger trips per month between Montrose and Aberdeen. The main themes highlighted across the route between the Central Belt and Aberdeen were about frequency (41 per cent), with specific comments about calls at Stonehaven.

Following the consultation, ScotRail will implement the Fit for the Future timetable in May 2022 with two changes to the timetable that was proposed for the route between Montrose and Aberdeen. The first is that the proposed 06:40 from Glasgow to Aberdeen which will not be introduced at this time due to insufficient resources and the second is improvements to the early evening Montrose to Aberdeen timetable to fill gaps that existed for some intermediate stations.

Services on this route are being reviewed as part of the Aberdeen to Central Belt Enhancement Project which is expected to deliver improvements in 2026, and as part of the Perth-Dundee-Aberdeen Rail Corridor Enhancements proposed in the draft Strategic Transport Projects Review 2 (STPR2), published by Transport Scotland.

Click to view Glasgow & Edinburgh - Aberdeen Timetable May 2022

Return to see consultation outcomes for all routes