Trains between Glasgow and Edinburgh are to run every 15 minutes on Saturdays after an upsurge in the number of passengers travelling on that day.  

From May, Scotrail will run four trains an hour on the main line between Scotland’s largest cities for the first time since the Covid pandemic.  

The move is in response to growing numbers of people travelling at the weekend, with Saturday now the busiest day of the week for people travelling between Glasgow Queen Street and Edinburgh Waverley via Falkirk High.  

Engineering work will also be moved from its traditional weekend slot to Sunday and Monday as a trial on another ScotRail line to avoid disrupting travelers. 

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Trains from Monday to Friday will remain at a 30-minute frequency outside peak hours, which were reduced from every 15 minutes in 2020. 


The Scotsman newspaper reports that Alex Hynes, managing director of Scotland’s Railway, which comprises ScotRail and track owner Network Rail Scotland, said overall passenger revenue had reached about 80 per cent of pre-Covid levels, but there were changes in the way people were using trains.  

He told the Rail in Scotland conference in Glasgow, organised by Modern Railways magazine: “Off-peak is pretty much recovered to pre-Covid levels – that’s why Saturday is the busiest day on ScotRail. Our peak business has reduced by 40 per cent – incredible. 

"I used to commute every day between Edinburgh and Glasgow. The trains were full, now they’re not. 

"In the May timetable changes, we are going to go [to] four trains an hour on a Saturday between Edinburgh and Glasgow because the leisure market is bouncing back faster than the peak market.” 

He added: "All the rules of running the pre-Covid railway are just being thrown out of the window because Covid has changed everything – the market has fundamentally changed. 

"That is why we also need to look at the planning and execution of disruptive engineering work” – which he said was being reviewed. 


Mr Hynes said: "We are trying to identify a route which ScotRail operates on only, and are going to do a trial and move the weekend engineering work away from Saturday and Sunday, and do Sunday and Monday instead – the two quietest days on ScotRail right now, and see what happens.” 

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A Network Rail spokesperson said: “Covid has changed travel patterns and we are examining as an industry what that means for how we deliver vital engineering works. 

"We are currently developing proposals which could include delivering some works outwith the traditional weekend and public holiday periods.”