Clackmannanshire passengers have been taking advantage of the new direct morning and evening rail services between Alloa and Edinburgh – with around 4,000 trips made to and from Alloa on these services alone since their introduction in May this year.
Passenger services returned to Alloa for the first time since 1968 when the new Alloa station opened on 15 May 2008.
The Alloa – Stirling – Glasgow Queen Street service has proved very popular since its launch last year, with around 400,000 passenger journeys to and from Alloa in the first year of operation.
This demand led to the introduction of a new direct morning and evening commuter service between Alloa and Edinburgh in May 2009 and this has also been a hit with passengers.
Transport Scotland rail delivery director Bill Reeve said:
"It is very heartening to see strong demand from passengers for the Alloa to Edinburgh services in addition to the exceptional numbers we’ve already seen using services between Alloa and Glasgow.
"The feedback we’ve received is that people are delighted these new services between Alloa and Edinburgh have been introduced and that commuters are increasingly happy to make the switch from road to rail.
"These figures demonstrate how worthwhile it has been to reopen Alloa Station after a gap of 40 years."
The Stirling Alloa Kincardine rail project reopened 21km (13 miles) of existing, disused and abandoned railway line between Stirling Station and Longannet Power Station in Kincardine.
The new station at Alloa allows direct hourly passenger services between Alloa, Stirling and Glasgow Queen Street and onward services from Stirling to Edinburgh.
From May 17 this year, the new direct morning commuter service to Edinburgh has departed from Alloa at 07.38, with a return train from Edinburgh to Alloa at 17.33.
In addition, the 23.18 Glasgow to Stirling service has been extended to Alloa, providing a new late service to the town.
Steve Montgomery, managing director of ScotRail, said:
"The feedback from customers has demonstrated overwhelming support for these services.
"They provide the travelling public with a new choice on their doorstep and should also have a positive knock-on environmental impact."
Clackmannanshire Council Sustainability Portfolio Holder Councillor Eddie Carrick said:
"The direct rail link from Alloa to Glasgow has been an overwhelming success and I am not surprised that the peak-time direct service to Edinburgh has also proved to be a hit with commuters.
"I'm delighted that even more residents are now enjoying convenient and green travel to and from our Capital."