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Parliamentary debates and questions

S5W-18112: Rachael Hamilton (Ettrick, Roxburgh and Berwickshire)

Scottish Conservative and Unionist Party

Date lodged: 8 August 2018

To ask the Scottish Government what action it is taking to reduce overcrowding on trains (a) on commuter services between Waverley and Tweedbank and (b) overall.

Answered by: Michael Matheson 4 September 2018

Since the opening of the Borders railway we have gradually increased the number of peak services which have more carriages than the normal two. The following table shows the number of seats provided in the morning and evening peaks.


August 16

May 17

Dec 17

Edinburgh Arrival





Tweedbank Arrival





The Scottish Governent announced a ‘Revolution in Rail’ in March 2016. As part of these major improvements, more Class 170 units will be deployed on the Borders Railway. These 3 carriage trains with more seats will largely replace the 2 carriage class 158s units which currently operate on the Borders route and provide an additional 1,500 seats per day. The changeover of train fleets will take place during 2019.

The number of passenger carriages operated by ScotRail increases from 796 at the start of the franchise to 1,043 by the end of 2019 – an increase of over 30%. We will also operate more than 250 additional services compared to now, meaning that the number of seats provided each weekday will increase from just over 500,000 at the start of the franchise to more than 620,000 at the end of 2019.