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3 November 2008

Commuters to benefit from new rail services

Rail passengers across Scotland are set to benefit from timetable improvements introduced this winter. The new services will take effect from the commencement of the winter timetable on Sunday 14 December.

Operated by First ScotRail, improvements for rail passengers on the Aberdeen to Inverness via Inverurie route will see a significantly improved morning service, allowing more people to make the switch to public transport for their commute to work. As part of the service improvements, passengers will see:

Improved frequency of through services between Edinburgh to/from Inverurie via Aberdeen and calling at Dyce, with six services increasing to 10.

An improved spread of morning peak services from Inverurie to Aberdeen, with three extra trains and two extra departures during the evening peak period.

The timetable improvements come in the wake of significant work to enhance Inverurie Station. The single carriage road bridge at the station has been replaced by a new two lane structure and, as part of the project, step-free access has been provided to platform two for Aberdeen-bound trains.

The new bridge also provides a good step free walking route between platforms for the first time, significantly improving disabled access.

Rail passengers on the Edinburgh-Perth-Inverness route will now benefit from:

An hourly service between Edinburgh and Perth, with some services continuing to Inverness, and an hourly Edinburgh-Dundee service introduced as a result of changed stopping patterns in Fife.

A new morning commuter service from Blair Atholl at 0712, calling at Pitlochry at 0726 and Dunkeld at 0739, allowing for an arrival in Perth at 0759.

A new 0510 service from Perth to Edinburgh, providing a connection into the 0700 train to London. Dunblane and Bridge of Allan customers will also benefit from a connection to the early morning London train. The 0530 Stirling – Edinburgh service will start from Dunblane at 0521 and call at Bridge of Allan at 0524.

The package of improvements in the far north will see:

A new fourth Far North service introduced between Inverness and Thurso and Wick, providing an afternoon service from Inverness and connection for the evening Scrabster – Stromness ferry. It also complements the additional southbound service introduced in December 2006.

Four services in each direction (Monday to Saturday) on the Kyle of Lochalsh line all year round.

A new service on Friday and Saturday evenings from Inverness to Tain, departing at 23.20. Three additional Sunday services, each way, between Tain and Inverness, and a fourth train each way between Invergordon and Inverness

Retiming of services aimed at improving connections and frequency of services for commuter journeys with connections from north of Inverness to the morning National Express service to London Kings Cross.

Commuters at Aviemore and Carrbridge will benefit from a retimed morning service, arriving in Inverness at 0846, and Carrbridge customers will benefit further with the 1656 Inverness to Edinburgh service calling additionally at Carrbridge at 1727.

Meanwhile, a package of improvements for rail passengers between Glasgow and Gourock will see revised departure times on Sundays to improve connections with ferry services at Gourock.

Transport Minister Stewart Stevenson said:

"These new services will mean even more people will have the opportunity to make the switch to public transport.

"We are working hard to identify locations under-served by the existing rail network and are investing significantly in extending services – both in terms of expanding infrastructure and plugging gaps in the timetable.

"The rail network in Scotland makes a significant contribution to Scotland’s economic and social health, which is why we are announcing a series of service improvements across Scotland, making the switch to pubic transport an easier one."

Mary Grant, Managing Director of First ScotRail, said:

"First ScotRail works closely with Transport Scotland to identify opportunities to provide additional services, improve journey times and meet the needs of communities across the country.

"This new, more frequent timetable will benefit our customers and help us meet the growing demand for rail travel."

New look, easier to read timetables will be available at staff stations from mid November. Full details of the new winter timetable can also be found online at

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