Tracking services

For a meeting in Edinburgh on 5 February, I wanted to ­return mid-afternoon, and tried to book my journey home to Stonehaven with First ScotRail. Its price for a first class single ticket on the 1528 service is an eye-watering £38.60.

So I’m now staying on in the capital for three hours more, and will return on the 1833 East Coast train – and for just £14.85, for which price I will also enjoy a real seat on a real train, with a drink and a meal served at my seat.

My long experience of First ScotRail is that the company ­operates a labyrinthine and ­byzantine fares structure. In this particular case, its pricing smacks of a Great Train Robbery.

Gordon Casely