Borders Railway trains to get 20% more seats by 2018

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More seats are to be made available on Borders Railway trains from 2018 as part of a “revolution in rail” package announced by the transport minister.

Derek Mackay said the measures would deliver the largest programme of benefits to rail passengers seen in a generation.

From 2018, ScotRail will introduce 200 new services, providing 20,000 more seats per day.

The upgrade includes “typically” 20% more seats on the majority of services to Midlothian and the Borders, and direct hourly connection between Borders Railway and stations in west Edinburgh.

Timetable improvements are made possible by the decision by the Scottish Government to retain 13 additional Class 170 diesel trains (39 additional carriages) beyond the terms of their current leases, which were due to end on 2018.

More rolling stock will allow ScotRail to run more frequent services both for commuters and city to city passengers, whilst the increased flexibility offers significant time savings on popular routes.

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.

“This funding is in addition to the £475m investment in Scotland’s rolling stock over the lifetime of the franchise, meaning Scotland’s rail passengers have never been better served, both in terms of the quality of the trains they travel on, and the number of services running on the network.”