Rail passengers will benefit from a host of additional services being introduced as part of the new winter timetable announced by ScotRail and Transport Scotland.
The enhanced services will begin from Sunday, December 9 to allow thousands of passengers to enjoy better connectivity and new journey opportunities.
Operated by ScotRail, the new winter timetable will see:
• Earlier and more frequent Sunday trains linking Edinburgh, Glasgow and Ayr
• Improved journey times on Ayrshire and Inverclyde routes complimenting the recently completed Paisley Corridor Infrastructure Improvements. Services increased from four to six per hour between Glasgow and Ayrshire
• A new Sunday service between Glasgow Central and Edinburgh via Shotts
• Extra weekday calls at Portlethen, Laurencekirk, Broughty Ferry and Invergowrie
• Extra calls at Kilmaurs and Dunlop on Glasgow Central – Kilmarnock services
• A new early-morning weekday service from Motherwell to Edinburgh and a late evening service in the opposite direction
• A new weekday service between Glasgow Central and Edinburgh calling at Motherwell, Wishaw, Carluke, Carstairs and Haymarket as part of the EGIP project being introduced and delivered ahead of schedule
• Improved journey times for services between Glasgow and Edinburgh to Inverness as result of new infrastructure works
• Extra trains between Edinburgh and Dunbar on a Saturday.
Transport Minister Keith Brown said: “Rail travel in Scotland is on the rise as more people come to realise the benefits of letting the train take the strain.
“The Scottish Government has an absolute commitment to rail services and to doing all we can to encourage more people on to the trains with all the benefits that entails – less congestion on the roads, a reduction in carbon emissions and increased job and investment opportunities.
“These service enhancements will encourage new passengers to travel by rail for commuting educational and leisure, opportunities and help current passengers to get out earlier, stay out later and get around more frequently.”
The timetable changes announced will provide additional local calls between Perth, Dundee and Aberdeen.
From September, Sunday services between Edinburgh and Glasgow Queen Street improved from hourly to every half hour in the mornings and late evening. This will continue throughout the winter and in future timetables.
Passengers travelling from Glasgow Central to Ayr will have three trains an hour as opposed to the previous two on weekdays. In addition, a fourth will terminate at Irvine.
Journey time improvements are also being delivered on the Glasgow Central to Ayr, Largs, Ardrossan and Inverclyde routes to Wemyss Bay and Gourock. These timetable changes will deliver improved connections with ferry services.
Four new Saturday services will be introduced between Dunbar and Edinburgh to match the weekday service.
Shotts will see a Sunday service introduced for the first time in many years between Glasgow Central and Edinburgh.
Weekday and Saturday mornings will see a new early morning train from Motherwell to Edinburgh, via Shotts, and a late evening service in the opposite direction, via Carstairs.
The new services between Glasgow Central and Edinburgh via Carstairs and calling at Clydesdale stations are being introduced a year ahead of schedule.
Extra calls at Kilmaurs and Dunlop on Glasgow Central – Kilmarnock services are being introduced to provide passengers at these stations with a more regular service.
Steve Montgomery, ScotRail’s managing director, said: “The new timetable provides real benefits by improving frequency, journey times and connections on routes across the country.
“It underpins our focus on delivering more services and encourages more people than ever to switch to rail.”