Scottish transport minister Derek Mackay has announced a ‘revolution in rail’, made possible by the retention of 13 additional diesel trains beyond the terms of their current leases.
The extra, albeit old, rolling stock will allow ScotRail to run ‘more frequent services both for commuters and city to city passengers’.
From 2018 ScotRail will introduce 200 new services, providing 20,000 more seats per day, with passengers across Tayside, Stirlingshire, Perthshire, Aberdeenshire and the Borders benefiting.
Derek 'man of rail' Mackay
Under its current timetable ScotRail runs 2,300 services per day. Transport Minister, Derek Mackay, said: “We have initiated a revolution in rail services across Scotland.
From 2018 passengers will benefit from more seats, more services and faster journey times as a direct result of the increased funding that we are putting into the rail network.
‘The retention of these units will complement the arrival of our new High Speed Trains, which will allow for new and improved intercity connections. They will also make our rail network more resilient, creating opportunities to run faster services on key commuter routes and offering better connectivity for regional areas.’
Cllr Ramsay Milne, chair of Nestrans - the transport partnership for Aberdeen City and Shire - welcomed announcement: 'Nestrans has campaigned long and hard over a number of years for improved local rail services from Inverurie, across Aberdeen to Stonehaven and Montrose, providing more frequent rail options for the citizens of Aberdeen and Aberdeenshire from all of our local stations.
'By complementing local services with quicker Aberdeen to Edinburgh and Glasgow express services, this benefits rail travellers both locally and on longer distance routes by providing more trains & faster journey times.'