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Extra peak-time seats every week for the Borders line & First year passenger numbers confirmed at 1.3m

Posted: 5th December 2016

From Monday 12 December, customers using the Borders Railway will be able to access more than 1,300 additional peak time seats each week.

ScotRail today revealed that capacity will be doubled on two key peak time trains, from two to four carriages:

–          07:58 from Tweedbank to South Gyle

–          16:52 Edinburgh Waverley to Tweedbank.

This increase provides more than 270 extra seats each day and means that all services departing Tweedbank between 07:00 and 08:00 will have at least three carriages.

As a consequence of these peak time improvements, four off peak services every weekday will also gain an extra two carriages, adding a further 2,700 extra seats each week.

A third benefit of the new timetable sees ScotRail beginning to use a limited number of Class 170 trains on Borders, resulting in a number of services throughout the day having three carriages instead of two.

Humza Yousaf, Minister for Transport and the Islands said:

“I am pleased that, working closely with ScotRail, extra capacity during the busy peak periods has been identified and secured for 2017. This is in addition to our commitment to provide more capacity from late 2018 onwards as a result of our investment into retaining 13 Class 170 trains as part of the Revolution in Rail service enhancements.

“The arrival of our new electric fleet next autumn serving newly electrified routes is the key towards increasing seating capacity across our fleet by 23% by 2019, delivering 200 extra carriages to Scotland since the launch of the ScotRail Franchise in April 2015.”

Phil Verster, managing director of the ScotRail Alliance said: “The Borders Railway is now firmly established as an attractive and convenient public transport option, with strong demand, particularly at peak times.  We have responded by making a number of changes to add capacity when it is most needed, providing our customers with more comfortable journeys to and from the capital.”


Meanwhile, the ScotRail Alliance has also confirmed that 1.3m passenger journeys were made on the Borders line in the first 12 months of operation, broadly in line with business case projections.

Mr Verster said, “Projections are just that; assumptions made about how many people are likely to travel at different times of the year.  We now have a much clearer picture of what to expect in future years and will incorporate these learnings into our business planning and marketing.”

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Business Comment is the Edinburgh Chamber of Commerce’s bi-monthly magazine. It provides insight on Edinburgh’s vibrant business community, with features on the city’s key sectors, interviews with leading figures and news on new business developments in the capital.
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