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Scot Rail Seating

I tried searching but didn't have much luck finding an answer.

We reserved two first class seats on a Sunday from Edinburgh Waverly to Glasgow Queen Street. There is no reserved seating. How does that work when you board the train? Thank you.

Posted by
895 posts

Look for carriages/compartments marked First Class. The journey is only an hour and I doubt there would be any reserved seating for such a short journey So long as there is no reserved tag on a seat you can sit wherever you like within the first class areas.

Posted by
1376 posts

Hi, Big Mike,

The ScotRail trains between Edinburgh and Glasgow are class free. (I almost said classless!) You can sit anywhere you like. So if you have paid for first class, you have priority, but as the train is class free, you may find that the first class section has been taken over by people who know the score.

There is virtually no difference between the seating.

Best wishes for your travels!

Slightly Smaller Mike (Auchterless)

Posted by
6774 posts

I just took that train yesterday and Mike is right. I sat in the first car and I don’t even think they’re labeled as first or second class. There was no distinction between any seat, I can tell you that. Mine was pretty crowded, but I don’t know if it makes a difference when traveling on Sunday.

Posted by
6355 posts

At one end or another of each 4 car set there is a small 20 seat first class section- which is labelled as such, and is 1st class (with a dividing door). If there are people with standard class seats in there the guard/senior conductor should be throwing them out. They are not entitled to be there.
It is labelled and also has a yellow bar painted above the windows.
The staff are usually quite good at protecting that revenue stream.
There are another 200 odd seats for standard class.
You should get a free cup of tea or coffee and a wee cake or shortbread for your extra money. Before you get that the catering person normally checks that your ticket is 1st class- I've done that on weekend first upgrade on the 170's quite a few times on the Inverness route- £4 base fare Inv-GLA and £5 1st class upgrade (!). Your table also has a little table lamp and there are curtains on the window.
So if it's a full length 12 car train (3 x 4 car units) there should be 60 first class seats.
First class was declassified during the pandemic but has now been re-instated- on the HST's it was actually locked out of service as a private coach for the staff.
These trains are called Class 385 Express, but the same tiny first class section exists on the long distance 170's and on the Inter7City HST's on the long distance routes. Three car 385's don't have 1st class. These three train classes are the only ones on Scotrail to have first class.

Posted by
2975 posts

Well, thanks folks. Appreciate those insights. I read a couple of stories online where passengers complained about "sitting on the luggage" because there were no seats in first class, which seemed odd to me. I'm guessing the answer is to show up early in order to get a seat?

Posted by
358 posts

There are no class areas on this short journey, and no reservations.

Posted by
2975 posts

jgdh, then I wonder why there are first class tickets on sale for this journey that are more expensive than standard? Why are people paying extra if it doesn't matter?

Posted by
6774 posts

Big Mike, I think I have isn31c is correct, so I wouldn’t worry about the other reply.

When I said yesterday that I was on that train, I forgot that I had been meant to get on that train, but it was canceled right after I bought the ticket. Evidently the train hit someone and they were killed. But at any rate, because that track was unusable, I wound up taking a slower train to Glasgow, which stopped in all the small towns.

Posted by
6355 posts

Jgdh is simply incorrect. It is as I stated. I think you should be able to find it on the Scotrail website, about the first class offering.
Scotrail are not selling something that doesn't exist.
I've not heard about overcrowding in 1st class before. May happen on a weekday, on a Sunday seems unlikely.
I was trying to find out about the first class lounge at Waverley which Scotrail used to have. I'm not convinced it still exists. Not certain if they now use the LNER lounge - that bit is as clear as mud.
There's another thread somewhere on the forum about people being in your seat. The same applies to standard class people in 1st class. At both terminal stations there are loads of staff and BtP - I would not hesitate to get them involved, and get chancers moved on. I don't give a stuff if standard class is full- if I've paid extra I will get my 1st class seat, or get my reserved seat in standard if I have reserved one. People will get two polite warnings from me, then it will be escalated.

Posted by
15503 posts

Mike, just because you bought a first class ticket doesn't mean there will be first class.

Last year, Dundee to Glasgow (through Edinburgh), I had a first class ticket but there was no first class. I asked the conductor/train manager and he said they didn't put one on that train. (It was a replacement).

I had to search Scotrail's website for refund information but eventually, credit was given on my credit card for the difference between the two classes.

Posted by
2975 posts

Thanks for the feedback. I have read about "chancers" moving into first class, although the Scot Rail website says they'll be moved unless standard class is full. I don't know whether this is enforced. But yes, if there is a first class car I would raise some Cain if there was no seat for what I paid for. We purposely chose Sunday for this portion of our travel in the expectation that it might be less crowded than a work day, but with people out and about who knows?

Posted by
24 posts

I hope you report back. We are doing this same trip to move between our Edinburgh and Glasgow hotels late on a Saunday in a few weeks. 1st class, of course.

Posted by
15503 posts

I traveled Scottrail yesterday in 1st class. The 1st class sections of Scottrail trains are at the ends of the 1st and last cars. There are only 6 rows but it is a private compartment.

My train was going from Aberdeen to Glasgow. I was the only person in first class. No one came around to offer any refreshment.

It was a three car train.

Posted by
6355 posts

This is the Scotrail page detailing which trains currently have catering- which is being amended weekly.

It seems that only the HST sets currently have catering at the time of writing (and the standard class only trains to Fort Willliam/Mallaig/Oban and the far north lines from Inverness). This is a change from the other week when my 3 car 170 also had catering, so is obviously in flux.

Posted by
2975 posts

Thank you, Frank II. It's worth noting that on some routes first class is not much more than standard class, which is why I chose that option.

isn31c appreciate the insight.

Posted by
6355 posts

I actually came across a case yesterday where first class on Scotrail was cheaper (and by some margin) than standard class, on an Edinburgh to Inverness train. I've not often seen that before in Scotland.
It was £30 1st class advance Edinburgh to Aviemore, a great deal, especially on a Friday afternoon.
I was idly looking at a new rail/bus connection through Aviemore to Aberdeen which has just started, but a 13 minute connection at Aviemore off a long distance train is too dodgy to risk.