SCOTRAIL has set a new record of carrying 83.3 million passengers in the year to March – up 2.6 per cent on 2012.
The train operator, which runs more than 90 per cent of Scotland’s trains, has also seen a one-third increase in journeys since Aberdeen-based FirstGroup took over the franchise nine years ago.
A competition is due to be launched later this year for the next franchise, starting in 2015.
ScotRail managing director Steve Montgomery said: “The rise in passenger numbers is pleasing and shows we are connecting even more communities, helping to grow the economy and encouraging people out of their cars onto public transport.
“There’s still more to be done, and we will continue to expand services and improve the customer experience.”