Children to travel free this weekend as ScotRail is nationalised

Up to four under-16s can travel with a paying adult on Saturday and Sunday.

Free travel for children under-16 this weekend as ScotRail returns to public ownership iStock

Children aged between five and 15 can travel on trains for free this weekend as ScotRail returns to public ownership.

Up to four under-16s can travel with a paying adult on Saturday and Sunday in a bid to encourage more people to use the service.

Adults will need to show a Kids Go Free voucher which can be downloaded from the ScotRail website.

The franchise transferred from Abellio into public ownership on Friday after seven years under the control of the Dutch firm.

Abellio’s contract was due to run until 2025 but has been brought to an end three years earlier than planned.

Transport minister Jenny Gilruth said: “Bringing ScotRail passenger services under public control and ownership puts passengers and staff at the heart of Scotland’s rail services.

“It’s a historic occasion and one that marks a key milestone in our ambitious Programme for Government to support a greener, fairer Scotland.

“This is an opportunity to deliver a railway which is for the benefit of the people of Scotland and everyone who travels by rail – customers, staff and stakeholders, not shareholders.

“The national conversation that gets under way this spring will provide an opportunity for staff, passengers and communities to have their say in how we shape Scotland’s railway and ScotRail in particular.

“To celebrate this transition, under the banner It’s Yours to Use, we are providing free travel on April 2 and 3 for up to four children with every fare-paying adult.

“We are encouraging everyone who can to travel by rail this weekend to show our pride in Scotland’s railway and our support for those who work hard to operate it on daily basis.”

A ScotRail statement confirming the news said: “Round up your friends and family and take to the rails for a brilliant day out.

“The railway is yours to use and is always waiting to whisk you away for some quality time with those you love. And for this special weekend, we invite you to make fun-filled memories for less.

“Each paying adult can take up to four children aged 5 to 15 with them for free when they show a Kids Go Free voucher.”

Timetables will remain the same as planned and train livery is not changing, though the word Abellio will be removed from signs and printed materials.

A publicly-owned company called ScotRail Trains Limited will operate train services, overseen by a public body called Scottish Rail Holdings.

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