ScotRail is to introduce Britain’s first rail carriages reserved for bikes and outdoor equipment in response to overcrowding on the West Highland Line between Glasgow, Oban, Fort William and Mallaig.
Last September, the Scottish Government said in a report that it was exploring “introducing dedicated carriages for cycles and other outdoor sports equipment on rural routes in the north and west” of the country.
The Scotsman reports that Transport Scotland is now working with ScotRail to reconfigure carriages to accommodate cyclists and their bikes.
Earlier today, transport minister Humza Yousaf tweeted: “It's our aspiration the first dedicated train carriage for cyclists & other sports enthusiasts will enter service by summer next year.”
A Transport Scotland spokesperson said: “This will very much be a trial, and help to inform the future rolling stock requirements, so the Scottish rail fleet can support growing cycle tourism sector over the next 30 or 40 years.”
A ScotRail spokesperson said: “We’re looking forward to working with our key partners on how we can boost tourism and bring wider economic benefits, along Scotland’s most scenic railways.”
Frank Roach, partnership manager of the Highlands and Islands Transport Partnership co-ordinating body, said: “Cycle tourism is growing in our area and the train is a great way to get to the start of your ride.”