WHEN you get the train to work every day with the same passengers, there are certain social niceties that need to be observed. First of all, you do actually know these people - in fact you probably spend more time in their, albeit silent company, than you do with members of your own family, during the working week at least.
Linlithgow, on ScotRail’s main east-west corridor, benefits from frequent trains into Edinburgh, which will be further boosted from later this year when new trains double the length of many services.
Trains from Fife into Edinburgh are among the busiest commuter services in Scotland. It can be standing room only from Dalgety Bay and Inverkeithing on clockwise and anti-clockwise morning peak services on the Fife Circle line respectively. The overcrowding increases the length of station stops, which has given the line one of worst punctuality records serving the Edinburgh area.
Commuters in Dunbar and Berwick-upon-Tweed can take advantage of the relative luxury and space of the GNER trains travelling to and from London, whose now somewhat threadbare interiors will be refurbished this year, with the promise of more comfortable seats and extra legroom. In the longer term, new trains are likely to form part of a new or extended franchise from 2005, which is expected to be accompanied by more frequent services.
WITH recent figures showing many homeowners in Edinburgh are now earning more from rising property values than their jobs, capital dwellers may wonder why they would want to move out of the city. However, this increased affluence remains theoretical until a property is sold, and a city-centre flat could be cashed in for a much larger home outside Edinburgh.
Juniper trains have improved the service they provide on the Ayr line. Extra peak hour services have also been added as part of a compensation package from ScotRail to Strathclyde Passenger Transport for the disruption caused by last year’s drivers’ dispute.
The final introduction of all 40 new Juniper electric trains in December after lengthy teething troubles has improved reliability and comfort on the Gourock, Largs and Wemyss Bay lines.
Lanark services were boosted in January to up to two an hour, while the accompanying replacement of 40-year-old trains with newer coaches has improved reliability and comfort.
THE Granite City enjoys better rail services from the south than the north because the single-track line to Inverness limits service frequency.
Great rail links make Glasgow, Scotland’s biggest conurbation, perfect for the commuter. So if you want a piece of the country to go with your city career, you will be pleasantly surprised at just how far your money will go