Newest Review: ... where the Station Manager was standing waiting for us on the steps. The train was specially stopped just for us, hence it was a two m... more
An extremely good railway experience
Author Name: Chris
Advantages: Relatively cheap, punctual, good customer service
Disadvantages: Expensive catering, some staff can be rude
Living in Scotland all my life, Scotrail is the only experience I've ever had of the railways. And I'm glad to say that the experience has, almost invariably, been positive.
I am a regular commuter on the North Clyde Line between Coatbridge and Glasgow. The trains are extremely reliable, even in the peaks. I've never been late because of Scotrail. The service provided onboard is generally good, and the trains (especially the newer ones) are comfortable for the short journey. The ride into Glasgow is quick, and much easier than sitting on a congested motorway. It's also much cheaper than trying to park your car in the West End! Crowding is an issue on some of the trains in the height of the peak, but on the whole it's not bad.
I also use them for longer distance runs as well, to Aberdeen and Inverness. The service on these trains is exemplary. The frequent trains to the North are invariably clean and pleasant, with very helpful onboard staff. The Turbostars are comfortable, and have nice large windows so you can enjoy some of Scotland's finest views.
The catering is generally good for a cup of tea or coffee (the prices for which are better than those in the stations), although they are still pretty expensive. If you do choose to get a sandwich or biscuit, expect to pay a lot more than you would anywhere else.
Scotrail have a way to go yet. There's still cases where staff don't deal with delays well, and a few station staff at my local station (Blairhill) can be very rude. But it's not fair to let a few members of staff spoil affect the overall review, because the majority of them are friendly and very helpful.
And some of the older trains could do with a refurbishment or renewal, although this is mostly what the company have inherited from the previous operators.
Travelling by train with Scotrail is a pleasure, and I would recommend Scotrail to anyone.
Summary: A very good experience, with only a few quibbles.
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