19/05/2014 - Celebrating more rail services at Oban
A doubling of trains between Oban and Glasgow will be celebrated when the first of the new services arrives at Oban on Monday 19 May.
The Franchise Continuation Agreement between Scottish Ministers and First ScotRail in 2013 paved the way for the doubling of the number of trains to and from the West Highland town to six per day Mondays-Saturdays, assisted by a groundbreaking partnership between HITRANS, Argyll and Bute Council and First ScotRail.
The community celebrations will include local representatives greeting the first arrival at 0835, accompanied by a piper.
Speakers will include Michael Russell, the MSP for Argyll and Bute and Cabinet Secretary for Education and Lifelong Learning in the Scottish Government, and Argyll and Bute Councillor Duncan MacIntyre, of Oban.
Funded by ScotRail, the new services include an early morning train from Oban which will reach Glasgow before 09:00, ideal for business or leisure travellers – and a new evening service which will connect with the southbound Caledonian Sleeper at Crianlarich, offering a wider range of journey opportunities.
However, the celebrations on 19 May will focus on the arrival in Oban of a new early morning service which departs Glasgow Queen Street at 05:10 – reaching Oban just after 08.30.
The other northbound new services from Glasgow are at 10.37 and 16:37, while southbound there will also be an extra train at 14.41 in addition to the new 05:20 and 20.37.
Michael Russell MSP said, “I am delighted to be in Oban this morning welcoming more rail services linking the town with Glasgow. The doubling of trains will undoubtedly boost business and strengthen the local economy. In this momentous year, including the Commonwealth Games and Homecoming, Oban is perfectly placed to take advantage of a boom in tourism.”
Transport Minister Keith Brown said: “I’m delighted to see these additional services between Glasgow and Oban get underway and welcome this important improvement to the Scottish rail network. These enhancements come as a direct result of the Scottish Government successfully negotiating a continuation of the ScotRail franchise to the 31st March 2015.
“By doubling the trains on the route, we offer regular commuters more travel options and provide the local economy with a boost by making it even easier for visitors to get a taste of the fantastic tourist offering in Argyll and Bute.
“These additional services will also improve connections to one of Scotland's busiest ferry ports, bringing similar benefits to the island economies in the Inner and Outer Hebrides.”
Councillor Macintyre, who represents Oban North and Lorn and is also a HITRANS Board Member, said: “There will be a whole host of new journey opportunities as a result of the Oban 6 Trains’ project.
“The opportunities range from daily commuting into Oban from stations from Crianlarich to Connel Ferry to day trips to Glasgow for work, education and leisure. There will also be faster services with the last train of the day, the 2036 from Oban, arriving in Glasgow in less than three hours.”
He added: “There are improved connections with Calmac ferries to the Inner and Outer Hebrides - and Oban’s waterfront will be more accessible to visitors from Central Scotland, the rest of the UK, even Europe.
“We are grateful to Transport Scotland and First ScotRail for helping us to achieve our aim of making the area better connected. It will have real benefits for the economy of the area, making Argyll a more attractive place in which to live, work, study and play.”
Steve Montgomery, ScotRail's managing director, said: “We are delighted to introduce further links for the Oban community with the central belt and beyond, and thank all involved in the partnership to deliver this welcome boost in services.”
HITRANS: Frank Roach 01549 402896/ 07921 161995
Argyll and Bute Council: 01546 604171
Danny Carden ScotRail: 0141 335 5087 / email@example.com
Notes to Editors
From May 19 2014:
Glasgow – Oban departures
Oban – Glasgow departures