Tag Archives: Scotrail

The ScotRail Alliance – taking Pride in its appearance

ScotRail Alliance brands trains with Pride rainbows to celebrate the LGBTI event

15/06/18 – 18061502 – SCOTRAIL
EDINBURGH WAVERLY STATION – EDINBURGH
Scotrail show their support for Pride Edinburgh by displaying their logo on the side of one of their trains

 

ScotRail trains have been branded with the rainbow symbol to mark Pride Edinburgh this weekend.

 

Two ScotRail Class 170 trains have been branded with Pride’s iconic rainbow symbol in support of Pride Edinburgh, which takes place tomorrow (Saturday).

 

The trains will be in service across the country, including on the popular Edinburgh – Glasgow Queen Street main line, and the Borders Railway.

 

The ‘Pride Trains’ are the latest demonstration of the ScotRail Alliance’s support of Scotland’s LGBTI community.

 

Alex Hynes, ScotRail Alliance Managing Director, said:

 

“I’m thrilled to support Pride Edinburgh with our specially designed rainbow trains.

 

“At the ScotRail Alliance we want our workforce to reflect the diversity of our customers. We’re building the best railway Scotland has ever had, and we need the best people to do this.

 

“I would encourage anybody attending Pride Edinburgh, or with an interest in LGBTI, to get in touch with us to find out more about the work the ScotRail Alliance is doing to celebrate diversity and promote equality.”

 

Jamie Love, Pride Edinburgh, said:

 

“We at Pride Edinburgh are very grateful that ScotRail is proudly supporting and promoting our celebration of love in the Scottish capital.”

 

ScotRail Alliance to confirm improvements in East Lothian

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.”

ScotRail aiming to save lives with new app

ScotRail has launched a new app for all employee phones and tablets to help prevent suicides on the railway.

Developed by Network Rail in partnership with Samaritans and the wider rail industry, the app gives employees guidance on possible warning signs and how best to support someone in need. It also provides a direct link to the British Transport Police for immediate support and advice.

The app is now available to all 4,500 ScotRail employees on their smartphones and tablets and is in addition to Samaritans’ specialist suicide prevention training that more than 300 ScotRail Alliance colleagues have completed.

The app has been available on all Network Rail Scotland employee devices since 2017.

The ScotRail Alliance is also supporting the ‘Small Talk Saves Lives’ campaign, which aims to give travellers the confidence to act if they notice someone who may be at risk of suicide on or around the rail network.

People are being reminded that if they concerned about someone they see on the railway or elsewhere, they should trust their instincts:

  • Suicidal thoughts can often be temporary.
  • Strike up a conversation with a simple question such as asking about the weather, or where they’re travelling today.
  • If you think someone may need help, introduce yourself, encourage them to talk and focus on listening. 
  • There’s no evidence that talking to someone who could be at risk can make things worse. 
  • It’s important to act. If you don’t feel comfortable approaching the person yourself, tell a member of staff, a police officer or dial 999.

David Lister, ScotRail Alliance sustainability & safety assurance director, said:

“The ScotRail Alliance takes its commitment to supporting those with mental health problems very seriously.

“Encountering someone in distress on the railway can be a daunting experience, even for the most experienced of our people. That’s why we’ve launched this app for ScotRail employees, to offer quick help and advice to those who come across someone who needs urgent support.

“Thanks to the work done by the rail industry and Samaritans, for every life lost on the railway, six are saved.”

James Jopling, Executive Director for Samaritans in Scotland, said:

“Suicide is not inevitable and any one of us could have an opportunity to save a life. By empowering their staff to act if they see someone at risk, the rail industry continues to make great efforts in reducing and preventing suicide across Scotland.”

ScotRail Alliance launches new £400,000 Cycling Fund

The ScotRail Alliance has launched a £400,000 Cycle Fund, as part of its ongoing commitment to improving access and facilities for cyclists at Scotland’s railway stations.

 Over the next four years, £100,000 a year will be made available to local councils and community organisations. This funding will be used to deliver projects which contribute to the ScotRail Alliance’s vision of providing a ‘doorstep to destination’ journey for customers, whilst reducing congestion and pollution. The fund will provide up to 50% of project costs.

 The fund can be used to support projects which will:

 ScotRail Alliance Cycling Manager Kathryn Mackay said:

“We’ve delivered an unprecedented investment in cycling in recent years, with the provision of Bike & Go at 12 stations, and over 1,200 extra cycle spaces.

 “The £400,000 Cycling Fund will allow us to continue this investment by delivering our vision of a seamless ‘doorstep to destination’ journey for customers. We are encouraging councils and local community groups to take advantage of this great opportunity. It’s all part of our plan to build the best railway Scotland has ever had.”

 Transport Scotland Head of Rail Franchising Andrew Mackie said:

“The Scottish Government is committed to getting more people to make active travel choices by encouraging modal shift wherever possible.  The Cycle Fund offers organisations the opportunity to work with ScotRail to deliver enhanced cycling infrastructure and encourage as many people as possible to integrate cycling into their everyday journeys. 

 “This is all part of our core vision to make the railway as accessible as possible and jointly supports the Scottish Government’s vision to increase the number of people using rail, and the proportion of journeys made by bike”.

 

SCOTRAIL ALLIANCE PUBLISHES DETAILS OF PERFORMANCE IMPROVEMENT PLAN

  • Series of action plans to improve performance – including Golden Trains, Fleet Upgrades and Asset Improvement Programme
  • Performance has fallen 0.7% below expected levels in recent months to just under 90%
  • Publication comes as ScotRail Alliance steps up its ‘Ready for Autumn’ campaign

The ScotRail Alliance has published details on how they will improve train service performance.

The Performance Improvement Plan (click to open pdf) sets out actions that are being put in place to improve the reliability of trains and to ensure that the train infrastructure – including points, tracks and signals – is operating to its optimum efficiency.

The plan also covers improvements to the way train services are operated – including the identification, monitoring and protecting of ‘Golden Trains’. These are the services that, if delayed, have the biggest impact on the rest of the rest of the rail network.

The publication comes as the ScotRail Alliance steps up its work to prepare for Autumn – traditionally one of the most difficult periods for train operators across the UK – by rolling out its fleet of specialist trains to clean the tracks of falling vegetation.

Key points from the Performance Improvement Plan:

  • An £8m Asset Improvement Programme to replace or enhance key pieces of critical railway infrastructure in order to ensure that they are working at their absolute best
  • Specifically tailored upgrade programmes for key parts of the network such as Edinburgh and the Borders, Lanarkshire and Tayside
  • A programme of upgrades to trains to rectify the most common causes of faults
  • The identification, monitoring and protection of the ‘Golden Trains’ that, if delayed, have the biggest impact on the rest of the rail network
  • A programme to identify alterations to the way we operate our train timetable that will make our overall service more effective
  • Plans to improve the way we roster staff and diagram trains

ScotRail Alliance Infrastructure Director, David Dickson said: “We are not a just a company made up of metal boxes, wooden sleepers or concrete buildings. We have 7500 people working for us – and every single one of them is dedicated to doing the very best for our customers.

“Our railway is undergoing the biggest period of change and modernisation since the Victorian era. Over the course of the next year or so we will be completing huge projects to upgrade our infrastructure, electrifying large parts of the network and introducing new fleets of faster, longer greener and intercity trains.

“All of this work will transform rail travel in Scotland. We will have shorter journey times, better equipped trains and, crucially, a huge expansion in the number of services we run and the seats we are able to offer. When we complete this work, there will be a hundred thousand more seats available each and every weekday than there was at the start of the current Franchise.

“With this amount of change, there is inevitably some disruption. We are doing everything we can to minimise this – such as the work we did to keep people moving during the closure of the Queen Street Tunnel. However, there is no doubt that our performance in recent months, as a result of all of this work, has dipped slightly. The plan we are publishing today details how we bring it back to the level that our customers expect and that we want to deliver.”

On the plans to prepare for Autumn, David Dickson added: “Autumn is one of the most difficult periods for all rail operators across Britain. Leaves on the line has become a cliché over the years, but the problems that are caused by wet weather and vegetation are all too real.

“Leaf debris on the tracks can cause train wheels to slip – increasing breaking distances and making conditions more difficult for our drivers.

“We are committing a huge amount of time, effort and people to tackling these problems. The special trains we are deploying play a hugely important role in clearing tracks and keeping trains moving.”

ScotRail enhances cycling parking at stations

To mark Cycle To Work Day 2016, ScotRail has announced further significant progress in its continuing programme to expand cycle parking at stations across the network.

Since the start of the current franchise, Abellio ScotRail has installed more than 600 additional cycle parking spaces. This is part of the train operator’s wider commitment to encourage sustainable access and smart, integrated travel across Scotland.

These new cycle spaces complement the Bike & Go scheme, currently available at 10 stations, allowing customers to travel by train and hire a bike at their destination to use around the area.

Edinburgh Haymarket, Largs and Linlithgow, where Bike & Go has also been introduced this year, are among the stations to have additional cycle parking installed – 66, 48 and 40 new spaces respectively.

The focus of this initiative is on making it easier for customers to have a sustainable commute, and to create more demand for cycling to busy commuter stations by providing improved facilities and connected travel opportunities.

Fourteen other stations have benefitted from new cycle spaces since April last year, including 32 at Drem and 10 at North Berwick

Transport Minister Humza Yousaf said: “I would like to ensure that as many people as possible can conveniently integrate journeys by rail and bike for their daily commute, or indeed any other journey. This is why a strong focus was made on specifying additional and enhanced cycling facilities at stations as part of the ScotRail franchise.

“Offering passengers more facilities like cycle spaces at stations is a core part of our vision to make the railway as accessible as possible and jointly supports the Scottish Government’s vision to increase the number of people using rail, and the proportion of journeys made by bike.”

Ian McConnell, ScotRail’s Programmes and Transformation Director said: “Travelling by train is already a great choice for the environment, but we’re committed to providing as many sustainable travel options as possible.

“More and more of our passengers are cycling to the station as part of their daily commute or for leisure travel, and we want to encourage more people to do the same.

“By investing in high quality cycle parking we aim to make it easy for customers to make healthy, sustainable choices for their journey to and from the station.

“And Bike & Go adds another option, where people don’t even need their own cycle. It’s a fantastic way for customers to complete their onward journey by bicycle.

“The easy-to-use bikes are ideal for business travellers, visitors and day-trippers.”

Daisy Narayanan, Deputy Director for Built Environment, Sustrans Scotland added: “We welcome this increase in cycle parking spaces by Abellio ScotRail to help encourage people to leave their bike at the station and use the train as part of their everyday journeys.

“Cycling is a great way for people of all age groups to increase their level of physical activity and improve their health and wellbeing.

“We are continuing to work in partnership with communities and organisations across Scotland to make journeys by foot, bicycle and public transport easier and simpler, and to help create vibrant, well-designed communities.”

More information on Bike & Go and ScotRail’s cycling initiatives can be found at scotrail.co.uk/cycling

SCOTRAIL PARTNERS WITH FOUNDATION SCOTLAND TO AWARD £90K TO LOCAL COMMUNITIES

Today, ScotRail announced its partnership with Foundation Scotland, which will manage the train operator’s £90,000 fund to help local communities flourish across Scotland.

Over the course of the next year, the ScotRail Foundation will distribute grants across three separate areas; Community Fund, Cultural and Arts Fund, and Employee Charitable Giving Fund.

Community groups can apply for grants from the £40,000 Community Fund. Awards from £250 to £5,000 can be used to support children and young people, and to improve the environment or general health of communities.

The Cultural and Arts Fund* – launched in November 2015 as part of the ‘ScotRail in the Community’ scheme – will also award £40,000 to charities, individuals and local groups that promote creativity, the arts, community recreation, sports themes and other cultural activity, as well as celebrate Scotland’s cultural heritage in its full diversity. Applicants can request grants of up to £5,000.

The remaining £10,000 has been set aside for ScotRail’s Employee Charitable Giving Fund, where ‘match funding’ will be awarded to staff members who raise money on behalf of their own special causes – up to £250 for each application.

Elaine Bell, ScotRail’s head of corporate social responsibility, said: “We believe we are much more than just a train operator, and that we have a responsibility to try and improve and connect local communities.

“Launching this fund will create many opportunities for groups and individuals across the country, and we want to see lots of eligible hopefuls apply.

“The ScotRail Foundation will enable us to provide financial support to local communities across Scotland for many years to come.”

Cabinet Secretary for Culture, Tourism and External Affairs, Fiona Hyslop, said: “We know culture and the arts can tackle inequalities, empower people and transform lives. The Scottish Government is working hard to widen access to the arts, ensuring people of all ages can enjoy and participate in cultural activity and experience our heritage.

“The ScotRail Foundation demonstrates an ongoing commitment to ensuring that communities across Scotland are supported to create and participate, so that all the hard work and imagination that contribute to the cultural life of our communities is recognised and rewarded. I encourage charities, individuals and local groups to apply for funding.”

Foundation Scotland* – an independent charity with almost 20 years of grant making experience – has been appointed to manage the fund on behalf of ScotRail.

Giles Ruck, CEO Foundation Scotland said: “We are delighted to be working in partnership with the ScotRail Foundation to deliver this new fund supporting communities across Scotland.

“I am sure the combination of our grant-making experience and ScotRail’s commitment to supporting local communities will ensure this new fund will create a lasting legacy for future generations.”

To apply, or to find out more about the above Funds, please visit:  www.foundationscotland.org.uk/scotrail 

Later Festival Train

ScotRail is currently running a later train for people travelling back to East Lothian from the Edinburgh festivals.

 

Until Sunday 28 August, a later train will run on Friday and Saturdays to North Berwick (with a bus connection at Drem to Dunbar). The train will depart Edinburgh Waverley at 00:06. The bus will depart Drem at 00:42.

See additional info at scotrail.co.uk/majorevents

RAGES OPEN MEETING AT PRESTONPANS

RAGES has organised an open meeting and invited Phil Verster, Managing Director of ScotRail Alliance, to discuss the current and future operation of the Edinburgh to North Berwick and Dunbar service and the future service to Berwick.  The meeting will be held in Prestonpans Town Hall on 25th July 2016 at 19:00 until 21:00.

All members are invited to attend.  There will be set questions compiled by the committee, but there should be ample time for questions from the floor.

Members can also invite friends, neighbours or fellow travellers who have an interest in this service.  Entry is free, but there will be the opportunity for non-members to join RAGES at the usual subscription of £4 per annum!

The Town Hall address is: New Street, PRESTONPANS, EH32 9JW.  New Street is off the High Street (B1348)

RAGES hopes to see you there.

Russell Darling

Rail Action Group, East of Scotland
www.rages.org.uk

Scotrail strike days!

UPDATE 16.6.16: See Scotrail’s dedicated travel advice site here: bit.ly/1UQfpyy

 

RAIL UNION RMT today confirmed a campaign of strike action and industrial action short of a strike over the extension of Driver Only Operation and Driver Controlled operation on Scotrail.

The action will commence as follows;

Strikes

•    0001 hours and 2359 hours Tuesday 21st June 2016
•    0001 hours and 2359 hours Thursday 23rd June 2016
•    0001 hours Saturday 25th June 2016 and 2359 hours Sunday 26th June 2016
•    0001 hours to 2359 hours Sunday 3rd July 2016
•    0001 hours to 2359 hours Sunday 10th July 2016
•    0001 hours to 2359 hours Sunday 17th July 2016

Action Short of a strike (Overtime Ban)

•    0001 hours and 2359 hours Wednesday 22nd June 2016
•    0001 hours and 2359 hours Friday 24th June 2016
•    0001 hours on Monday 27th June 2016 and 2359 hours Saturday 2nd July 2016
•    0001 hours on Monday 11th July 2016 and 2359 hours Saturday 16th July 2016
•    0001 hours on Monday 18th July 2016 and 2359 hours Saturday 16th July 2016

Read about the RMT campaign to keep guards on Scotrail trains here.