Scotrail’s new Highland Explorer carriages, offering space for up to 20 bikes and an e-bike charging point as well as space for other bulky sports gear, will run from Glasgow to Oban starting Monday 19 July. The ability to charge an e-bike onboard a train is a first in the UK.
The five new carriages feature a new “active travel” livery designed by artist Peter McDermott, depicting some of the most iconic landmarks along the West Highland line, including the Glenfinnan viaduct, Ben Lomond and the castle on Loch Awe, plus the almost obligatory highland cow.
Inside, as well as the space for bikes and equipment, there is seating for 24 people.
At the launch event at Glasgow Queen Street station, Scotland’s transport minister Graeme Day said: “By offering so many cycles spaces on board trains which serve some of Scotland’s most scenic routes, we can help even more people get out of cars and into the great outdoors.”
According to its website, Scotrail hopes to extend the service to Fort William and Mallaig and “eventually look at bringing the concept to all corners of Scotland”.
People travelling with bikes must book a space at least two hours before travel, and will be able to do so by phone, online or in person for travel as of 7 August. There is a temporary online booking request form for travel between 19 July and 7 August.
Photo credit: Scotrail