ScotRail to deploy Britain’s first rail carriages just for bikes

A dedicated coach is to be added to trains operated by ScotRail on certain routes just for the accommodation of bicycles.

Believed to be the first of their kind in the UK, the carriages will cater for the quickly growing Scottish Cycle tourism business and operate on lines between Fort William and Mallaig, as well as Oban and Glasgow.

Speaking to CI.N back in November of 2016 a spokesperson for HS2 Ltd alluded to the high speed rail programme, set to cost north of £80 billion, eventually having “appropriate provision” for bicycles, though the company wouldn’t be drawn on defining what that meant.

A recent study commissioned by Cycling Scotland has revealed the worth of cycling to the Scottish economy falls north of £500 million per year.

It is expected that a similar carriage will be added linking Wick and Kyle of Lochalsh. In total five carriages will be made available to begin with, according to Scottish Transport Minister Humza Yousaf.

“It’s our aspiration the first dedicated train carriage for cyclists & other sports enthusiasts will enter service by summer next year. This unique initiative, a UK first, is supporting improved transport connectivity and active travel choices. Delighted Scotland leading the way,” Mr Yousaf posted to Twitter.

“It also brings benefits to local economies, tourism, the nation’s health and the environment.”

Just last week, Yousaf also announced an investment in electric bike uptake, with a pot of £1.3 million made available. An investment in infrastructure for cyclists has also recently been revealed.