Research by the respected economic think-tank Fraser of Allander Institute shows First ScotRail, which is responsible for 95% of train journeys in Scotland, enabled total employment of 59,615 people in 2012/13. This equates to an economic impact of £1.5bn.
The study found ScotRail now employs 4700 people - an increase of more than 35% since 2004 when FirstGroup took over the franchise from National Express - and supports £302.5 million in wages.
Moreover, each ScotRail job supports an additional 1.45 jobs elsewhere, and for every £1 paid to ScotRail employees, an additional £0.99 in wages is generated in Scotland.
Steve Montgomery, managing director of ScotRail, said: "Clearly, our primary role is to deliver the best possible train service for our customers, connecting the communities we serve, and it's gratifying to note that the extensive investment in people and technology we've made since 2004 is reflected in the significant performance improvements."
Deputy First Minister Nicola Sturgeon added: "The results of the study show the important role ScotRail plays in Scotland's economy, providing thousands of jobs and essential services to travellers.
"I am also pleased to see ScotRail's success in encouraging more and more people to use the railways in Scotland, with 83.3m journeys on its services last year.
"The Scottish Government is looking forward to working closely with ScotRail over the coming year as the eyes of the world look to Scotland's exciting programme of events for 2014 including the Commonwealth Games."