ScotRail (brand)

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Rèile na h-Alba
380108 at Haymarket.jpg
Main area(s)

Scotland Cumbria

Stations called at 353 operated

ScotRail (Scottish Gaelic: Rèile na h-Alba) has been the brand name used for all Scottish regional and commuter rail services, including some cross-border services, since September 1983. Since 2008, it is the permanent name of the Scottish franchised rail services, regardless of the train operating company that operates them.


Regional Railways ScotRail branding on Mark 2 coach number 5174 at the Northampton & Lamport Railway on 26 January 2008
Transitional First ScotRail branding (First logo on the National Express colours) on 156457 at Oban on 25 June 2005
British Rail Regional Railways' 1991[1] logo
National Express ScotRail emblem (1997–2004)
Saltire style ScotRail branding 314212 at Lyoncross on 23 July 2011

British Rail[edit]

The ScotRail brand was created by British Railways Scottish Region manager Chris Green in the mid 1980s[2] to provide a distinctive brand for the rail network in Scotland. The brand has developed and is still in use today.

ScotRail, under BR, used customised versions of the existing British Rail liveries, with passenger locomotives and coaching stock painted in a lightly modified version of the InterCity Executive livery. The red stripe was replaced with a saltire blue stripe, and the InterCity name was replaced with the ScotRail name. Most Diesel Locomotives carried standard InterCity Executive livery, but with ScotRail branding. Diesel and Electric multiple units carried normal versions of the Regional Railways livery. In the SPT area, rolling stock (DMU and EMU) was painted in Strathclyde Orange and Black.

National Express[edit]

The brand was adopted by National Express when it took over the franchise from British Railways during privatisation in 1997.[3] The first unique ScotRail livery was introduced shortly after privatisation under National Express, who introduced their own livery. Initially, vehicles received the new ScotRail logo applied with vinyl stickers; a stylised outline of Scotland composed of three flashes in the corporate colours of green, red and purple. Multiple units were painted into the new livery with bodies in white (lower half) and purple (upper half) with green, red and white stripes bordering the purple, overlain by and a wide diagonal white band in the centre of the carriage. There were no units left with Regional Railways livery in Scotland at the end of the National Express franchise period, although the Class 305 electric units retained it until withdrawal in 2001. The latter were replaced by ex-Stansted Skytrain Class 322 units which were never repainted under the National Express franchise, receiving only ScotRail logo transfers. When the Class 322 hire ended in 2004, they were replaced on the North Berwick branch by English Welsh & Scottish Class 90 electric locomotives hauling former Virgin Trains Mk.3 coaching stock, in the old Virgin red and grey livery, again with ScotRail logo transfers.


When FirstGroup became the franchisee on 17 October 2004, in line with other rail franchises it held, the brand was revised as First ScotRail, having outbid National Express.[4][5]

When First originally acquired the franchise, a new regional livery of pink, grey and purple and a new logo of a pink circle and an italicised "f" character was introduced. Legislation requiring train doors to be painted in a contrasting colour to the body for visually impaired passengers resulted in white doors with a pink stripe. Like National Express, First applied their logo on units by transfer until repainting. A large number of units were re-branded into this livery, including the Class 322 units re-acquired (and refurbished) for North Berwick service and the Class 90 locomotives used on Caledonian Sleeper services.

Transport Scotland[edit]

In September 2008, the Scottish Government agency, Transport Scotland, announced that the franchised Scottish rail services would be permanently renamed ScotRail.[6][7] Transport Scotland came up with a new livery which will be applied to all of Scotland's trains, when they went into maintenance. The new livery is dark blue background, with grey doors and a white dotted 'Saltire' Scottish flag. A new logo is also applied, ScotRail, with the tagline 'Scotland's Railway', which on some units is replaced with the Scottish Gaelic translation 'Rèile na h-Alba'. Stations and staff uniforms have also been given a new dark blue look. This livery is not going to be replaced when the franchise ends, the only branding showing the operator will be a small "ScotRail is operated by" sign on the station building and on the train doors.[8] The franchise transferred to Abellio ScotRail on 1 April 2015.

Caledonian Sleeper[edit]

The Caledonian Sleeper rolling stock was not treated with the Transport Scotland livery as it was transferred to a separate franchise operated by Serco on 1 April 2015.


Since 1 April 2015 ScotRail has been operated by Abellio.

Rolling stock[edit]

Past Fleet[edit]

Class Image Type Top Speed Routes Built Notes
mph km/h
101 101692 at Arley.JPG DMU 70 112 - 1956-1960
303 303011 at Coatbridge Central.jpg EMU 75 121 North Clyde Line, Argyle Line, Cathcart Circle Line 1959-1961

Current fleet[edit]

Class Image Type Top speed Number Cars Routes Built Notes
mph km/h
68 Valiant 68007.JPG Diesel Locomotive 100 160 2 N/A Fife Circle Line 2013-14 On hire from DRS
Mark 2 carriage Haymarket - Abellio Mk2f 5965.JPG Passenger Carriage 100 160 12 6 1973-75
156 Super Sprinter Class 156.jpg DMU 75 120 48 2 Glasgow South Western Line

East Kilbride Branch

Maryhill Line

Tyne Valley line

West Highland Line

Cumbernauld Line (Until October 2018)

Shotts Line (Until March 2019)

1987-89 38 units will remain in service with ScotRail after all of Scotrail's new rolling stock has been introduced in Summer 2019
158 Express Sprinter Waverley station train 158.JPG 90 145 46 2 Far North Line

Kyle of Lochalsh Line

Fife Circle

Borders Railway

Glasgow to Edinburgh via Shotts (Until March 2019)

Glasgow to Anniesland (Until October 2018)

Glasgow Queen Street to Falkirk Grahamston (Until October 2018)

Glasgow/Edinburgh to Inverness (Until October 2018)

1989-92 38 units will remain in service with ScotRail after all of Scotrail's new rolling stock has been introduced in Summer 2019
170 Turbostar Waverley Class 170 470.JPG 100 161 55 3 Fife Circle

Borders Railway

Saturday Services to Dunbar and a peak time North Berwick Service (Until October 2018)

Glasgow to Edinburgh via Falkirk (Until October 2018)

Glasgow/Edinburgh to Aberdeen (Until May 2019)

Edinburgh/Glasgow to Dunblane and Alloa (Until December 2018)

Glasgow/Edinburgh to Inverness (Until May 2019)

Glasgow and Edinburgh to Perth/Dundee/Carnoustie from Late 2018/Early 2019

1998-2005 34 units will remain in service with ScotRail after all of Scotrail's new rolling stock has been introduced in Summer 2019
314 British Rail Class 314.jpg EMU 70 113 16 3 Cathcart Circle Lines, Inverclyde Line, Paisley Canal Line. 1979 To be completely withdrawn when all the Class 385s are introduced in October 2018
318 Partick - Abellio 318265+320308 Balloch service.JPG 90 145 21 3 North Clyde Line, Whifflet Line, Cumbernauld Line 1986-87
320 320 Saltire.JPG 90 145 30 3 North Clyde Line, Cumbernauld Line, Whifflet Line 1990 Eight of these 30 units are Class 320/4s, and have a top speed of 100mph (160kmh)
334 Juniper Class 334 in Waverley Station 03.JPG 90 145 40 3 North Clyde Line, Helensburgh Central/ Balloch/ Milngavie to Edinburgh Waverly 1999-2002
365 A Class 365 under ScotRail branding.png 100 161 10 4 Glasgow to Edinburgh via Falkirk Line (Until October 2018) 1994–1995
380 Desiro Class 380 No 380111 Scotrail (14859548003).jpg 100 160 22 3 Ayrshire Coast Line, Paisley Canal Line, Cumbernauld Line, Inverclyde Line

Glasgow - Edinburgh via Falkirk Line (Until October 2018)

Cathcart Circle Lines (Until October 2018)

North Berwick and Dunbar services (Until October 2018)

16 4
385 Class 385 render.jpg 100 161 3 3 Glasgow to Edinburgh via Falkirk Line

Glasgow and Edinburgh to Dunblane and Alloa (From December 2018)

Glasgow to Edinburgh via Shotts (From March 2019)

Glasgow-Cathcart Circle/Neilston/Newton (From October 2018)

Glasgow to Edinburgh via Motherwell and Carstairs (From October 2018)

Glasgow and Edinburgh to North Berwick/Dunbar

2015–2017 Due to replace the Class 314s from October 2018
1 4

Future fleet[edit]

Abellio ScotRail has mentioned the following as part of the future rolling stock.

Class Image Type Top speed Number Carriages Into Service Built Routes
mph km/h
153 Super Sprinter Truro - GWR 153380 +153373 departing for Falmouth.JPG DMU 75 120 5 1 October/November 2018 1987–88 West Highland Line (From 2018)

Kyle Line, Far North Line (From 2020)

43 High Speed Train Taunton - Abellio ScotRail 43149.JPG Diesel locomotive 125 200 54 N/A From October 2018 1975–82 On longer-distance services between Edinburgh, Glasgow, Perth, Dundee, Aberdeen and Inverness.
Mark 3 carriage GWR Mk3 TS 48111 Plymouth.JPG Passenger carriage 121 4 and 5


  1. ^
  2. ^ Stewart, Valerie & Chadwick, Vivian (1987). Changing Trains: messages for management from the ScotRail challenge. Newton Abbot: David & Charles. ISBN 0-7153-8870-3.
  3. ^ "National Express pledges new trains for ScotRail" Rail Magazine issue 300 12 March 1997 page 14
  4. ^ FirstGroup clinches Scottish rail franchise The Daily Telegraph 12 June 2004
  5. ^ First Welcomes Award of ScotRail Franchise Archived 6 October 2014 at the Wayback Machine. First ScotRail 11 June 2004
  6. ^ ScotRail 25th Anniversary Publicity Materials Archived 9 October 2008 at the Wayback Machine. Transport Scotland
  7. ^ Dalton, Alastair (23 September 2008). "ScotRail marks birthday with Saltire look". The Scotsman. Retrieved 1 February 2016.
  8. ^ Rail issue 602