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ScotRail Off-Peak Fares – what’s happening?

From October 2, 2023, you might notice something different about ScotRail Off-Peak fares. It will be Off-Peak all of the time! This is for a trial period, until 28 June 2024.

What’s happening to ScotRail Off-Peak fares?

ScotRail Off-Peak fares will be valid all of the time, every day. This means that when you book a ScotRail service with Railsmartr, the most you’ll ever need to pay is the Off-Peak price. This will be the case for a six-month trial period. 

If you have a Railcard, you’ll still need to abide by any time restrictions. For example, the Two Together Railcard will only be valid from 09:30 on weekdays, and some Railcards, such as the 16-25 Railcard, will continue to have a £12 minimum fare before 10 a.m. on weekdays. 

This change also affects first-class tickets. If you buy a First Class Off-Peak fare, then it’s valid at any time of the day. 

How much can I save with ScotRail Off-Peak fares?

Let’s take a look at how much you could save with ScotRail Off-Peak fares. Here are some examples of day return tickets: 

  • Edinburgh to Glasgow – now £14.90 (was £28.90) 
  • Dundee to Perth – now £9.90 (was £14.40)
  • Kilmarnock to Glasgow – now £8.10 (was £12.80)

The biggest saving (by percentage) is on the Edinburgh to Glasgow route. On the busiest routes around the Central Belt, ScotRail will be running longer electric trains to accommodate extra passengers. 

Are there any fares that won’t change?

The main exceptions to this change to ScotRail Off-Peak fares are if you’re travelling from Dunbar or Lockerbie

LNER sets the fare from Dunbar to Edinburgh, so it won’t be changing. You’ll still need an Anytime ticket (or you can use an Advance ticket) during the morning rush hour. 

Similarly, TransPennine Express sets the prices on the Lockerbie to Glasgow route. So, if you’re going from Lockerbie to Motherwell or Glasgow, then you’ll still need an Anytime ticket on weekdays during the morning rush hour. 

It’s worth noting that if you’re travelling further into Scotland, then the fare may still be set by ScotRail. So, we’d recommend checking on the Railsmartr site to see whether you’re able to grab a saving. 

What if I’m travelling from further afield?

ScotRail tends only to set fares within Scotland, with a few exceptions. The main exception is if you’re travelling from Carlisle towards Dumfries, Kilmarnock, and Glasgow (via this route, rather than on a faster Avanti West Coast or TransPennine Express train). If you’re travelling from Carlisle, you can still use a ScotRail Off-Peak fare at any time of day, if there’s one available. 

Coming from elsewhere? It might be cheaper to split your ticket. For example, suppose you’re travelling from Glasgow to Berwick-upon-Tweed. In that case, an Off-Peak ticket might be better value as far as Edinburgh, followed by another ticket from Edinburgh to Berwick-upon-Tweed. 

We’re working on offering these combinations automatically, so watch this space!

How do I book ScotRail Off-Peak fares?

You can do it with Railsmartr! Just pop your journey details into the website, and we’ll show you the cheapest fare for your trip. Here’s an example of an Edinburgh to Glasgow journey: 

scotrail off-peak fares on railsmartr site. screenshot shows that anytime fare has been reduced to the same price as off-peak.


Why is the Anytime fare still available?

You might have noticed that there’s still an Anytime fare in the picture above. You can still buy them, but they’ve been reduced to the price of the Off-Peak fare. They’ve been left in place, so it’s easier to re-introduce them after the trial. Don’t worry though, you can buy either ticket type. You won’t be left out of pocket. 

Is there anything else I should know?

We’d always recommend booking your ScotRail Off-Peak tickets with Railsmartr. When you book with us, you can get a refund on them without any admin fees if you decide not to travel. Why pay more if your plans change?

Looking for some inspiration on days out? We’ve written about days out by train from Edinburgh and Glasgow.