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First ScotRail is the FirstGroup train operating company running domestic passenger trains within Scotlandmarker and the cross-border Caledonian Sleeper service to Londonmarker. However, the company has now been renamed ScotRail - Scotland's Railway.

The ScotRail brand was originally used for services provided in Scotland by British Rail. After privatisation, the Scottish rail franchise was called ScotRail. On 17 October 2004, the franchise was transferred to First Group from National Express resulting in the rebranding from ScotRail to First ScotRail. This was the first time the franchise has been re-let since the privatisation of British Rail. The Scottish franchises are now controlled by the Scottish Government but on this occasion was dealt with by the Strategic Rail Authority as its agent.

2008 rebrand

First ScotRail logo (2004-2008)


In September 2008 the Scottish Government's agency Transport Scotland announced that all First ScotRail trains, including those in the Strathclyde Partnership for Transport, would be repainted in a new blue livery with white Saltire markings on the carriage ends. The services will rebranded with less emphasis on the "First" and will be marketed as "ScotRail: Scotland's Railway". The first unit to receive the new livery was 170434, unveiled at Glasgow Queen Street on 22 September 2008.

Network

The principal rail lines of Scotland
The ScotRail network is a mixture of long-distance, commuter and rural lines, totalling 1,696 miles (2,729 km), handling 66.1 million passenger journeys in 2003-4.

Main lines

Express trains operate between Edinburgh, Glasgow, Invernessmarker, Dundeemarker and Aberdeenmarker. The Highland Main Line links Inverness to the south. Some stretches of main line, such as the Highland Main Line, are single track, and express trains must call at intermediate stations to permit trains coming in the opposite direction to pass.

The main lines of Scotland are:

Glasgow

The densest part of the network is the suburban network around Glasgowmarker, with 183 stations, the second-largest suburban rail network in the UK, after Londonmarker. Much of it is 25 kV AC electrified. Glasgow’s main terminal stations are Centralmarker and Queen Street stationmarker. First ScotRail operate trains in this area under the Strathclyde Partnership for Transport (SPT) brand. However, the Strathclyde Partnership for Transport no longer has any input into specifying rail services in the Glasgow area. DMUs and EMUs that are livered in the carmine and cream livery are being stripped of the Strathclyde logos. Lines in and around Glasgow are:



The North Clyde Line will eventually be linked to the Edinburgh-Bathgate Line (see Edinburgh, below) when the Airdrie-Bathgate Rail Link is completed, creating a new direct link between Glasgow and Edinburgh. There is also a proposal to create a new rail link across the city with the Crossrail Glasgow project.

Edinburgh



Edinburghmarker’s suburban network is less dense than Glasgow’s. Edinburgh’s main station is Waverleymarker. The main railway line through the city centre runs in a cutting immediately below Edinburgh Castlemarker. A secondary station is at Haymarketmarker in the west of the city. Railway lines running north from Edinburgh to Fifemarker and the Highlandsmarker cross the Firth of Forthmarker via the Forth Bridgemarker. Lines in and around Edinburgh are:

The Edinburgh rail network is being expanded with the construction of the Waverley Line to the Borders, and the Edinburgh-Bathgate Line will be extended by the Airdrie-Bathgate Rail Link. A project to open a rail link to Edinburgh Airport was cancelled in September 2007 by the Scottish Government. A proposal to re-open the Edinburgh suburban railway line has been made by campaigning groups.

Rural lines

The West Highland Line at Rannoch station
Rural lines include the scenic West Highland Line, Kyle Line and Far North Line. These lines carry more passengers, mostly tourists, during the summer months, but provide a valuable link and social service during the winter months.

Many rural lines are single track. Trains terminating at the coastal towns of Obanmarker, Mallaigmarker and Kyle of Lochalshmarker connect with the Caledonian MacBrayne ferry services to islands including such as Skyemarker, Mullmarker and Lewis.

Corrour railway stationmarker, an isolated stop on Rannoch Moor on the West Highland Line, featured as a location in the 1996 film Trainspotting.

The rural lines are:

InterCity and Sleeper services

ScotRail operates some services that venture south of the border: principally the Caledonian Sleeper to London Eustonmarker along the West Coast Main Linemarker, and a twice-daily cross-country service between Newcastle upon Tynemarker and Stranraermarker via Carlislemarker and Kilmarnockmarker.

Stations

The majority of Scotland’s 340 passenger stations are operated by First ScotRail under Network Rail ownership. Glasgow Prestwick Airport stationmarker is owned and operated by the airport, is operated by NXEC, and Edinburgh Waverley and Glasgow Central by Network Rail itself. ScotRail operates Lockerbie railway stationmarker but none of its services call there.

Rolling stock

Current fleet

The diesel fleet comprises a mixture of Class 156 Super Sprinter and Class 158 Express Sprinter units inherited from British Rail, and Class 170 Turbostar sets acquired post-privatisation. Eight Class 158s are subleased from Northern Rail, which are set to be returned in December 2010 when Northern Rail's sublease for three Class 180 units (from National Express East Coast) expires.

The electric fleet includes Class 314, Class 318, Class 320, Class 322 and Class 334 Juniper units.All of EMU fleet are currently receiving C4 overhaul.

The Scotland-Euston overnight services comprise ex-InterCity Mark 2 and Mark 3 sleeper coaches, hauled by DB Schenker locomotives. In 2006, First ScotRail came to an agreement with DB Schenker to use a small dedicated fleet of Class 90 locomotives between London and Edinburgh/Glasgow. This fleet is painted in ScotRail livery with a small DB Schenker logo beneath the cab.

During 2005, the Edinburgh-North Berwickmarker line services were operated by EWS Class 90 electric locomotives with former Virgin Trains Mark 3 coaches. In late 2005, Class 322 units were reintroduced onto the line. These units were all refurbished and repainted into the First ScotRail livery.

The previous operator of the Scottish franchise (National Express - ScotRail) used Class 101 diesel units and Class 303 electric units, but these had all been withdrawn prior to First ScotRail taking over the franchise.

ScotRail has also operated Class 150 diesel units, but these have transferred to other operators following deliveries of new trains.

Following the new timetable, First ScotRail has been running a DB Schenker Class 67 along with their Mk2 carriages on the Fife Circle on the most intense services allowing Class 158s and 170s to work elsewhere.

Class Image Type Top speed Number Routes operated Built Future
mph km/h
Class 67 Diesel locomotive 125 200 Hired from DB Schenker Fife Circle Line
Caledonian Sleeper
1998-2000
Class 90 Electric Locomotive 100 160 Hired from DB Schenker Caledonian Sleeper 1987-1990
Class 156 Super Sprinter Diesel multiple unit 75 120 48 West Highland Line
Glasgow South Western Line
Paisley Canal Line
Whifflet Line
Shotts Line
Croy Line
Bathgate Line
Edinburgh Crossrail
Maryhill Line
Cumbernauld Line








1986-87
Class 158 Express Sprinter Diesel multiple unit 90 145 46 Glasgow to Edinburgh via Falkirk Line
Edinburgh to Aberdeen Line
Highland Main Line
Croy Line
Aberdeen to Inverness Line
Kyle of Lochalsh Line
Far North Line
Edinburgh Crossrail
Edinburgh to Bathgate Line
Edinburgh to Dunblane Line
Fife Circle Line
Shotts Line
Maryhill Line
Cumbernauld Line












1989 - 1992
Class 170 Turbostar Diesel multiple unit 100 160 59 Glasgow to Edinburgh via Falkirk Line
Edinburgh to Aberdeen Line
Highland Main Line
Fife Circle Line
Edinburgh Crossrail
Edinburgh to Bathgate Line
Edinburgh to Dunblane Line
Croy Line
Maryhill Line
Cumbernauld Line
Tay Coast Line









1999 - 2004
Class 314 Electric multiple unit 75 121 14 Cathcart Circle Lines
Inverclyde Line
1979-81 Cathcart Circle (Withdrawal planned for 2015)
Class 318 Electric multiple unit 90 145 21 Ayrshire Coast Line
Inverclyde Line
Argyle Line
North Clyde Line


1983-86 North Clyde/Airdrie Bathgate Routes
Class 320 Electric multiple unit 75 121 22 North Clyde Line 1989 Cathcart Circle Lines
Class 322 Electric multiple unit 100 160 5 Glasgow to Edinburgh via Carstairs Line
North Berwick Line
1988-90 Moving back to England.
Class 334 Juniper Electric multiple unit 90 145 40 Ayrshire Coast Line
Inverclyde Line
North Clyde Line
Argyle Line


1999-2001 North Clyde/Airdrie - Bathgate Route
Mark 2 Coach Passenger Coach 100 160 22 Caledonian Sleeper
Fife Circle Line
1969 - 1974
Mark 3 Coach Passenger Coach 125 200 53 Caledonian Sleeper 1975 - 1988


Future fleet

Transport Scotland have funded the acquisition of 38 Class 380 Siemens Desiro EMUs, to enter service from late 2010. These trains will operate Ayrshire, Inverclyde and Glasgow Airport services, adding extra capacity and allowing the cascade of existing stock to the new Glasgow to Edinburgh services via the reopened Airdrie to Bathgate line.

Class Image Type Cars per set Number Introduced Notes
Class 380 Desiro Electric multiple unit 3 or 4 22 (3-car)
16 (4-car)
2010 Siemens Desiro family


Performance

Performance figures for National Express’s last quarter as franchise holder, July to September 2004, were:
  • 82.8% of trains arriving within 5 minutes of the scheduled time. Down 4.2% on the same quarter the previous year.
  • 84.2% of trains arriving within 5 minutes of the scheduled time. Down 1.0% on the previous year as a whole.


Performance figures for First Group’s first quarter as franchise holder, October to December 2004, were:
  • 79.8% of trains arriving within 5 minutes of the scheduled time. Down 1.9% on the same quarter the previous year
  • 83.7% of trains arriving within 5 minutes of the scheduled time. Down 0.5% on the previous year as a whole.


First Group started operating the franchise on 17 October 2004.

The performance figures released by the Office for Rail Regulation (ORR) for the first quarter of the financial year 2007/8 (April to June 2007) are as follows:
  • 91.4% of trains arriving within 5 minutes of the scheduled time. Up 0.8% on the same quarter the previous year
  • 89.0% of trains arriving within 5 minutes of the scheduled time. Up 0.2% on the previous year as a whole.


The performance figures released by the Office for Rail Regulation (ORR) for the second quarter of the financial year 2007/8 (July to September 2007) are as follows:
  • 93.0% of trains arriving within 5 minutes of the scheduled time. Up 2.2% on the same quarter the previous year
  • 89.6% of trains arriving within 5 minutes of the scheduled time. Up 0.7% on the previous year as a whole.


The performance figures released by the Office for Rail Regulation (ORR) for the third quarter of the financial year 2007/8 (October to December 2007) are as follows:
  • 87.3% of trains arriving within 5 minutes of the scheduled time. Up 2.8% on the same quarter the previous year
  • 90.1% of trains arriving within 5 minutes of the scheduled time. Up 0.6% on the previous year as a whole.


The performance figures released by the Office for Rail Regulation (ORR) for the fourth quarter of the financial year 2007/8 (January to March 2008) are as follows:
  • 90.5% of trains arriving within 5 minutes of the scheduled time. Up 2.0% on the same quarter the previous year
  • 90.6% of trains arriving within 5 minutes of the scheduled time. Up 0.6% on the previous year as a whole.


The performance figures released by the Office for Rail Regulation (ORR) for the first quarter of the financial year 2008/9 (April to June 2008) are as follows:
  • 93.6% of trains arriving within 5 minutes of the scheduled time. Up 2.4% on the same quarter the previous year
  • 91.1% of trains arriving within 5 minutes of the scheduled time. Up 0.6% on the previous year as a whole.


The performance figures released by the Office for Rail Regulation (ORR) for the second quarter of the financial year 2008/9 (July to September 2008) are as follows:
  • 92.8% of trains arriving within 5 minutes of the scheduled time. Down 0.2% on the same quarter the previous year
  • 91.0% of trains arriving within 5 minutes of the scheduled time. Up 0.4% on the previous year as a whole.


The performance figures released by the Office for Rail Regulation (ORR) for the third quarter of the financial year 2008/9 (October to December 2008) are as follows:
  • 86.5% of trains arriving within 5 minutes of the scheduled time. Down 0.9% on the same quarter the previous year
  • 90.9% of trains arriving within 5 minutes of the scheduled time. Up 0.3% on the previous year as a whole.


The performance figures released by the Office for Rail Regulation (ORR) for the fourth quarter of the financial year 2008/9 (January to March 2009) are as follows:
  • 89.6% of trains arriving within 5 minutes of the scheduled time. Down 1.0% on the same quarter the previous year
  • 90.6% of trains arriving within 5 minutes of the scheduled time. Down 0.3% on the previous year as a whole.


The performance figures released by the Office for Rail Regulation (ORR) for the first quarter of the financial year 2009/10 (April to June 2009) are as follows:
  • 93.0% of trains arriving within 5 minutes of the scheduled time. Down 0.6% on the same quarter the previous year
  • 90.5% of trains arriving within 5 minutes of the scheduled time. Down 0.1% on the previous year as a whole.


Note:
  • The percentage change figures are not the actual increases in % but the percentage increase in the % value.
  • These values are very similar to the sector performance level.


Controversy

In June 2009 a report by Strathclyde Partnership for Transport revealed passenger figures from First Scotrail contain 7.2 million more passenger journeys than were actually made.. Transport Scotland said this gross overestimate did not affect the decision to extend the franchise. (The franchise having been extended under controversial conditions in 2008.)

See also



References

  1. http://www.transportscotland.gov.uk/ScotRail-25th-anniversary
  2. http://news.scotsman.com/scotland/-ScotRail-marks-birthday-with.4516834.jp
  3. Today's Railways Issue 81
  4. Airdrie-Bathgate rail link
  5. Capital Rail Action Group website
  6. ORR Statistics for Q1 2007/08
  7. ORR Statistics for Q2 2007/08
  8. ORR Statistics for Q3 2007/08
  9. ORR Statistics for Q4 2007/08
  10. Office of Rail Regulation - National Rail Trends, (2008), p. 22
  11. Office of Rail Regulation - National Rail Trends, (2009), p. 5
  12. Office of Rail Regulation - National Rail Trends, (2009), p. 5
  13. Office of Rail Regulation - National Rail Trends, (2009), p. 24
  14. Office of Rail Regulation - National Rail Trends, (2009), p. 5
  15. http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/scotland/8117328.stm
  16. http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/scotland/7829240.stm


External links










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