Not fare

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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.

Gordon Casely