Abellio to launch scenic railway routes initiative

SCOTLAND’S most picturesque train routes are to be rebranded as “Great Scenic Railway Journeys of Scotland” in an attempt to woo more passengers.

A train on the West Highland line at Loch Awe, one of the special scenic routes. Picture: Ron Jessop

Six lines across the country will be promoted in a campaign to be launched in May by new ScotRail operator Abellio.

It will be followed by trains being upgraded over the next three years to make them more attractive to tourists – as ministers have required in the contract.

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The West Highland line between Glasgow, Oban and Mallaig, featured in the Harry Potter films, will be among those highlighted.

Inverness-Kyle of Lochalsh and Inverness-Wick/Thurso – the Far North line – will also be included. The others are Glasgow-Stranraer, Glasgow-Dumfries-Carlisle, and the Borders Railway, which opens in September.

Carriages will be upgraded to become “scenic trains”, with information on tabletops, local food on catering trolleys, seats better aligned with windows, and more bike and luggage space.

Abellio spokesman Jeremy Whitaker said: “The journey will be an experience in its own right.”