ScotRail marks 40th anniversary

Ruby anniversary: projections of ScotRail staff on the Forth Bridge to mark the operator's 40th birthday. ScotRail

ScotRail celebrated its 40th anniversary on 22 September, marking the occasion with exclusive footage of some of the country’s most famous railway structures and stories of passengers and staff over the last four decades.

The footage features the Forth, New Clyde, river Dee and New Clyde bridges, interwoven with archive clips showing the changes on ScotRail since its inception in 1983.

Passengers at city stations across Scotland’s eight cities were given complimentary ScotRail branded cake pops to mark the occasion. 

In the last 40 years, 81 new or reopened stations have been added to the network, starting with Auchinleck and Kilmaurs in 1984 with the most recent being Inverness Airport in February this year.

Four disused or abandoned routes have been returned to the passenger network too – Larkhall-Hamilton and Anniesland-Maryhill in 2005, Stirling-Alloa in 2008, Airdrie-Bathgate in 2010 and the Borders Railway in 2015. The Levenmouth line will add a fifth when it opens next year.

ScotRail will launch a six-month trial to abolish peak fares from 2 October in a bid to boost passenger numbers.

The company’s Chief Operating Officer, Joanne Maguire, said: ‘We're pleased to celebrate ScotRail’s 40th birthday, recognising our role in connecting the people of Scotland. If you arrive at any station in Scotland, you’ll be greeted by the iconic ScotRail brand, and the world-famous Saltire on our trains. 

‘The past 40 years have been remarkable, with the introduction of new stations, new trains, reopening of disused railway lines, and the modernisation of the services available to customers. Of course, there have been challenges on a network that runs from Thurso to Carlisle, but the future holds even greater promise with further growth as we continue to innovate and improve our services.  

'As we celebrate this milestone, we renew our commitment to delivering a safe, reliable, and green railway for our customers. We thank our loyal customers for their support and look forward to serving the people of Scotland, and beyond, for many more years to come.’