In two decades of weekly rail travel from Aberdeen to Edinburgh, I’ve never found a ScotRail fare that’s cheaper than a main-line East Coast train.
Thus next Monday I will return on the 14:27 Virgin Trains East Coast for £10.90, as opposed to £19.75 for the 13:26 ScotRail.
Why is this ScotRail fare almost double that of Virgin?
The usual comparisons of travel conditions apply: on a poxy* ScotRail train, seating is cramped, the train is noisy and vibratory, and there are two toilets per three coaches.
Virgin is a real train, with legroom, luggage space, two toilets per carriage and full catering.
Oh, and on a ScotRail train, there’s nowhere in 2nd class to plug in the laptop.
*“Poxy” in my dictionary appears as meaning “bad, unpleasant, annoying, or generally worthless” – precisely my view of the quality of Scotland’s second-rate long-distance rail fleet.