They have been imagined to boast scrumptious native foods and drinks, “tourism ambassadors” and Harry Potter-style butter beer tasting to additional improve a number of the world’s most scenic rail routes.
However ScotRail has failed to fulfill a dedication introduced nearly 5 years in the past to remodel passenger enjoyment on the West Highland and different strains with “scenic trains” – and undisclosed fines are being racked up for the delay.
Travellers on routes to Oban, Mallaig, Kyle of Lochalsh and Dumfries ought to have been feasting from meals hampers on tablecloth-covered tables, studying concerning the passing panorama from knowledgeable guides and supplied seats in a “premium carriage”.
Themed occasions have been to embody Harry Potter “with domestically brewed ‘butter beer’”.
Nonetheless, the Scottish Authorities’s Transport Scotland company stated: “Penalties proceed to accrue for failing to ship this dedicated obligation”.
A tourism ambassador ought to have been on each prepare from December 2017 – supplemented by multilingual college students within the peak season – together with providers to Wick, Thurso and the Borders.
The remainder of the package deal, unveiled when Abellio gained the ScotRail franchise in 2014, was due by final December. ScotRail was unable to say when this might occur. It stated a “Nice Scenic Tasting Field” was on account of be unveiled this week that may characteristic an “distinctive vary of foods and drinks from all through Scotland” together with cheese, chocolate, whisky and gin.
The prepare operator stated it had additionally “upskilled our hospitality group to a tourism ambassador degree of service”.
A ScotRail spokesperson stated: “We’re dedicated to enhancing the shopper expertise on our scenic routes and we’re working with Transport Scotland so as to add to an already unbelievable service.”
Nonetheless, the plans obtained a decidedly lukewarm response from campaigners.
Buddies of the West Highland Strains chairman Doug Carmichael stated: “The eventual arrival of the tasting field sounds very engaging. However to those that journey on trains with the trolley service lacking from many providers due to employees shortages, considerably cynically, it will likely be a ‘wait and see’ how that is managed and operated on what at the moment are over 30-year-old, past-their-sell-by-date trains.”
A Transport Scotland spokesperson stated: “As soon as absolutely delivered, the scenic trains package deal will improve the passenger expertise.”