The introduction of brand-new class 385 electric trains from December will deliver an improved experience for East Lothian commuters.
The key improvements at a glance:
Half of North Berwick to Edinburgh services will have 6 carriages
08:07 from Prestonpans to Edinburgh will now have 4 carriages
07:55 from North Berwick to Edinburgh will now have 6 carriages
17:43 from Haymarket to North Berwick will now have 6 carriages
More than 1,500 additional seats each day between North Berwick and Edinburgh
Michael Matheson, Cabinet Secretary for Transport, Infrastructure and Connectivity said:
“These changes mark the first significant phase of timetable improvements on Scotland’s railways with £475 million being invested in rolling stock during this franchise, introducing faster, longer, greener trains.”
North Berwick station has been nominated as one of the best stations in Britain.
ScotRail has announced that North Berwick station has been shortlisted in the ‘Station of the Year’ category of the National Rail Awards 2018.
The East Lothian station will be judged against set criteria, including safety, infrastructure and customer-friendly presentation.
North Berwick station was reduced to a single platform in the 1960s and lost its traditional buildings in 1984.
However, it remains a pleasant and welcoming seaside terminus, thanks to the award-winning efforts of station adopters North Berwick in Bloom and to the work of station newsagent Craig McLaren who has produced a guide to the attractions of the town.
The National Rail Awards will be held on Thursday 13 September at the Grosvenor House Hotel, London.
James Ledgerwood, ScotRail’s Head of Economic & Community Development, said:
“North Berwick station remains one of the most welcoming stations on our network, and we are absolutely delighted to see it shortlisted.
“Making our stations a more pleasant and relaxing place to catch a train is a key part of our plan to build the best railway Scotland has ever had.”
ScotRail will take another step forward in delivering faster journeys, more seats, and better services for customers with the introduction of a brand new Hitachi class 385 electric train to its North Berwick route.
Passengers travelling between North Berwick and Edinburgh will be able to experience the new six-carriage train from Monday, 10 September, as ScotRail continues its commitment to building the best railway Scotland has ever had.
This is the third of the new Hitachi trains to be introduced, with two of the new fleet already operating between Edinburgh and Glasgow Queen Street via Falkirk High.
The trains are part of ScotRail’s £475 million rolling stock investment, following the £858 million electrification of the line between Edinburgh and Glasgow by Network Rail.
Customers using the North Berwick route will now be able to use the class 385 train on as many as 15 services throughout the week, with a further 12 on Saturdays.
It’s the latest in a range of improvements to services in East Lothian, with many of the trains on the route already operating with six carriages, and the majority of peak-time trains expected to run with this increased capacity by the end of the year. Further class 385 trains are due to be introduced on the North Berwick line before the end of the year.
“I am delighted that we are able to introduce another brand new Hitachi class 385 train, this time to the North Berwick route. We know that our customers will really notice the difference from Monday.
“This is another step forward for ScotRail as we continue our commitment to building the best railway Scotland has ever had.
“The introduction of these trains will benefit customers all across the country, as they will allow us to move existing trains on this route out across the network. This will help us to deliver faster journeys, more seats, and better services for our customers.”
Transport Scotland’s Director of Rail Bill Reeve said:
“This latest introduction of the class 385 fleet brings the benefits of our new electric trains to North Berwick and Dunbar services and is just the start of delivering more seats across peak services and improved facilities to passengers along this route.
“This is all part of an ongoing Scottish Government commitment to ensuring Scotland’s railways are a popular choice and demonstrates the real benefits of our extensive programme of electrification. Work continues to deliver the remainder of the fleet which, once in service, will increase overall seating capacity by more than 23% across the Scottish network.”
I didn’t find the information on the National Rail Enquiries website particularly easy to read so thought it might be helpful to set out the information clearly below:
So, in a nutshell, if you’re heading to Edinburgh in the morning, the first off-peak train is the one that leaves North Berwick at 09:27. Coming back to East Lothian from Edinburgh, there are two peak trains: 17:15 and 17:48. Weekends are always off-peak.
Hope this helps but please remember, this is only my interpretation of the current timetable, if you need additional information please contact Scotrail.
The ScotRail Alliance will confirm how they are improving rail services for customers in East Lothian at a public meeting on Thursday evening (03 May).
The most recent figures show the level of service on the North Berwick route has improved in recent months, with 94.1 per cent of ScotRail trains meeting their target arrival time, having stopped at all scheduled stations. This is up by 10 per cent from the most challenging period last year.
And, over the past twelve weeks, just one in almost 3,000 services to run on the route missed a stop in order to prevent disruption spreading across the network.
More carriages are also heading to services in East Lothian: a number of trains on the route already have six carriages, following a trial early last year that has since been made permanent. By the end of the year, the majority of peak-time trains between North Berwick and Edinburgh are expected to have six carriages.
Once the new Hitachi Class 385 trains enter service, these will be introduced on the Edinburgh to Glasgow Queen Street via Falkirk High route, followed by the North Berwick route.
This announcement comes ahead of a public meeting on rail services in East Lothian which will take place in Prestonpans Town Hall, on Thursday 3 May at 7pm where leaders from the ScotRail Alliance will meet customers, as well as Martin Whitfield MP and Iain Gray MSP.
Phil Campbell, ScotRail’s Head of Customer Operations, who will be at the meeting said:
“Along with ScotRail Alliance colleagues, I’m looking forward to meeting with our customers in Prestonpans, answering their questions about the service we provide and the improvements we will be making.
“We know that East Lothian is an exceptionally popular place to live, and there’s an ever-growing demand for our services to and from Edinburgh.
“With that in mind, we are doing all we can to ensure everyone has a comfortable journey. By the end of this year, even more of our customers will be able to benefit from longer trains with more seats and better services.”
Iain Gray MSP and Martin Whitfield MP are holding a public meeting to provide a further opportunity for rail users to highlight ongoing problems with the service on the North Berwick Line.
The local parliamentarians have decided to hold the meeting following continued widespread frustration and complaints about the issues that have dogged the line, such as serious overcrowding, frequent delays and cancellations, and problems with ticketing, including broken ticket machines.
The meeting will take place on Thursday 3rd May at Prestonpans Town Hall starting at 7pm. The ScotRail Alliance has been invited to send a representative to help answer questions from those who attend the meeting.
Iain Gray MSP said:
“I have spent years campaigning for the kind of safe, regular and reliable rail services that people in East Lothian need. Sadly, despite various promises and warm words from successive SNP Government Rail Ministers and ScotRail bosses, little progress has been made.
“Indeed, I continue to receive a regular flow of complaints from local rail users about their poor experience on the North Berwick Line. Frequent overcrowding, sometimes to the point where passengers have felt unsafe, delays and cancellations cause huge frustration to those using the line.
“This is unacceptable and must change. Martin and I intend to use this public meeting to reiterate the strength of feeling on the issue and relaunch our local #RailChange campaign for improvements in local services.”
Martin Whitfield MP said:
“Last year I helped to organise Prestonpans’ community council’s public meeting on local rail services. That event was well attended and provided an opportunity for local rail users to make their feelings known and quiz ScotRail about the numerous problems they were experiencing.
“Some commitments were made at that meeting around delivering improvements on the North Berwick Line. However, I think it’s clear to anyone who uses services on the line that very little has changed over the last 12 months.
“This ongoing misery for commuters in East Lothian is simply not good enough. We need to see real action from all partners to remedy the problems and deliver a reliable service for local rail users. This meeting will provide another opportunity to push for that change.”
In celebration of Scotland’s Year of Young People, conservation and education charity, the Scottish Seabird Centre, seeks a young person to join the Board of Trustees for the duration of one year. The Seabird Centre recognises the importance of the themed year and the need to engage the next generation, who can bring invaluable insight, experience and ideas to further enhance the work of the charity.
Applications are sought from those working in the conservation, environmental education or the wildlife tourism sector who are aged between 18 and 35 years. The appointed applicant will contribute to building on the Centre’s success and its exciting plans for the future, working with the diverse and experienced Board to create a world-class facility and activity programme dedicated to marine conservation and education.
David Windmill, Chair of the Scottish Seabird Centre, said: “We are keen to diversify our focus beyond that of seabirds and the local environment, to explore the wider marine environment and wildlife: life above and below the waves. We want to highlight the many threats that our wildlife now face and what needs to be done to help.
“Our Board of trustees is central to this vision for the future and we envisage the appointed person bringing skills and expertise that will contribute to delivering our aims. Not only thatbut as an education charity, we want to contribute to the learning and development of a talented individual who has aspirations for the future.”
Tom Brock OBE, Chief Executive of the Scottish Seabird Centre, adds: “From appointment, the successful applicant will have a position on the Board for one year. This will involve attending meetings in North Berwick and actively contributing with ideas on engaging and attracting young people to the Centre now and in the future.
“The successful applicant will act as an ambassador for the Scottish Seabird Centre, attending events as required throughout the year. It is an amazing opportunity for a young person and we are very keen to demonstrate our ongoing support for Scotland’s Year of Young People.”
The Scottish Seabird Centre’s Board of Trustees is responsible for the overall management and governance of the charity. It sets the strategic direction of the organisation and monitors performance.
Trustees have a wide range of skills and experience required for the various areas in which the charity operates. They are recruited against a matrix of skills, knowledge and experience which is regularly reviewed. All trustees are interviewed and approved by the Board.
Conservation and education charity, the Scottish Seabird Centre, North Berwick, announces the appointment of Simpson & Brown Architects for the National Marine Centre project.
The Simpson & Brown team worked on the original, award-winning Scottish Seabird Centre building which opened to the public in May 2000. The Seabird Centre has become a very popular landmark building and has won several architectural and sustainability awards.
The success of the Seabird Centre led to Simpson & Brown being appointed to design other visitor attractions. Over the last 16 years they have worked on, and won awards for, a range of high profile visitor-related projects including the Robert Burns Birthplace Museum, the Dawyck Gateway at the Royal Botanic Gardens, the Arbroath Abbey Visitor Centre, York Art Gallery and, most recently, Rievaulx Abbey Visitor Centre and Museum to name but a few. They also designed the Scottish Ornithologists’ Club building at Aberlady.
With over 38 years’ experience, Simpson & Brown specialise in conservation projects, creative adaption of existing buildings and the design of environmentally-sound initiatives. The project team will be led by Partner, Andy Davey, with Partner, Susan Whittle and Associate, Jenny Phillips.
Andy Davey, Partner at Simpson & Brown Architects, said: “Our team is delighted to be involved with the National Marine Centre Project. We are immensely proud of the Seabird Centre building and believe we are ideally placed to develop and strengthen the design to make it even more inspirational as well as functional for visitors and staff.
“Our work focuses on respecting the past and responding to the challenges for the future, particularly with regards to environmentally sound, sustainable design. As these aspects will be a core focus for the National Marine Centre project we look forward to researching, consulting and developing the designs in partnership with the Seabird Centre team and key stakeholders.”
Grace Martin, Project Director for the National Marine Centre, said: “We are thrilled to be working with Simpson & Brown. Andy and his team have a very strong association with the current building and a wealth of experience in visitor attractions, sustainability and sympathetic design.
“It is still very early days with the project and we are currently in a period of public consultation. Going forward, Simpson & Brown will be keen to engage with visitors and non-visitors alike to help them identify how best to enhance the existing, iconic Seabird Centre building”.
The aim of the National Marine Centre is to help people discover more about our amazing marine environment and wildlife – life above and below the waves – including seabirds. It will present the opportunity for the Centre to achieve more of its charitable objectives by expanding and diversifying its education and conservation programmes, developing new activities and events, and enhancing the exhibition space. The National Marine Centre is the working title for this innovative project.
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When will my bus arrive?
Dunbar – East Linton – Haddington – Edinburgh
hourly, 7 days per week (every 30 mins Mon-Fri at peak times)
Mon-Fri: First departure from Dunbar at 0555 First departure from Edinburgh to Dunbar at 0715 Last bus from Edinburgh to Dunbar at 2244 Last bus from Dunbar to Edinburgh at 2115 Last bus from Dunbar to Haddington at 2359
Saturdays: First departure from Dunbar at 0655 First departure from Edinburgh to Dunbar at 0740 Last bus from Edinburgh to Dunbar at 2244 Last bus from Dunbar to Edinburgh at 2115 Last bus from Dunbar to Haddington at 2359
Sundays: First departure from Dunbar at 0743 First departure from Edinburgh to Dunbar at 0820 Last bus from Edinburgh to Dunbar at 2244 Last bus from Dunbar to Edinburgh at 2115 Last bus from Dunbar to Haddington at 2359
North Berwick – Gullane – Aberlady – Longniddry – Musselburgh – Edinburgh
Every 30 mins Monday-Saturday (every hour evenings and Sundays)
Mon-Fri: First departure fromNorth Berwick at 0547 First departure from Edinburgh to North Berwick at 0726 Last bus from Edinburgh to North Berwick at 2328 Last bus from North Berwick to Edinburgh at 2155 Last bus from North Berwick to Musselburgh at 2305
Saturdays: First departure from North Berwick at 0623 First departure from Edinburgh to North Berwick at 0802 Last bus from Edinburgh to North Berwick at 2328 Last bus from North Berwick to Edinburgh at 2155 Last bus from North Berwick to Musselburgh at 2305
Sundays: First departure from North Berwick at 0719 First departure from Edinburgh to North Berwick at 0902 Last bus from Edinburgh to North Berwick at 2328 Last bus from North Berwick to Edinburgh at 2155 Last bus from North Berwick to Musselburgh at 2305