The Quietest Route From Glasgow to Edinburgh?

GaryBrown156

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28 Apr 2015
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Hi.
I will be making a return journey from Glasgow to Edinburgh in the coming days and I was wondering which of the 4 routes is likely to be the quietest?. I will be travelling outward between 11am and 2 pm and returning between 8pm and 10pm. I am pretty flexible regarding which route I go outward (although ideally a train which goes via Springburn on the return trip would be preferable).
I'd like to get on a quieter service both due to an anxiety disorder i have and due to social distancing.
I was also wondering if there is any difference price wise between the routes and what a return ticket would be likely to cost?

Thanks in advance and apologies if I have posted this question in the wrong section.
 
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CalF

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To be frank I’d suspect you’d be fine on any route on a weekday at those times. The service is unlikely to be busy.

At a weekend though I’d use the route to Helensburgh Central or vía Falkirk Grahamston.
 

GregA

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I was on a Caldercruix to Edinburgh train a few weeks ago and it was very quiet throughout the whole journey (this is helped by every train being 6 carriages even off peak); I'm unsure how that line has been recently though (this is the Queen Street LL - Bathgate - Edinburgh line).

I also took the 900 bus between Edinburgh and Glasgow a few weeks ago and there must have only been about 5 other people on the whole bus; again I don't know if it's been busier recently though (this runs from Bucannan Street Bus Station which is near Queen Street railway station, and stops outside Haymarket rail station in Edinburgh and then Edinburgh Bus Station).

A single on the bus is £8.50 I believe but you can get a return for £10 (valid all day, there's no peak time restrictions on the bus). Journey time is just over 1 hour 15 mins.

An offpeak single on the train without a Railcard is £13.40, however an off-peak return appeared to be £10.20 when I looked. Journey time is anywhere from 40 minutes to 1 hour and 20 minutes, depending on which line you take (single or return tickets are valid on any line between Glasgow Central/Queen Street, and Edinburgh Waverley).
 

scotrail158713

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I think the trains via Falkirk Grahamston stop at Springburn (I think they leave at xx03 and xx33 each hour - although maybe only hourly just now) However I’m not sure if they’re running in the evening just now.
 

Scotrail12

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The route via Bathgate into the Low Level has always been very quiet during the day. It was kinda busy from Bathgate-Edinburgh when I used it in the evening last year though (went up for a night out for my 18th).
 

InOban

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even in normal times they terminate at Grahamston in the evening, so if you want to join at Springburn you would have to change there on to a train from Stirling.
 

ValleyLines142

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The faster route from Queen Street to Edinburgh uses 8-car 385s which should be better for social distancing.

The route via Bathgate (Helensburgh trains) uses 6-car 334s (and stops EEEEEVERYWHERE!).
 

fgwrich

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I used a good number of the Edinburgh - Glasgow's via Falkirk High last week and they weren't particularly busy. For the totally quietest services between Edinburgh and Glasgow, I would look at the ScotRail operated Glasgow - Edinburgh via Carstairs services, I'm not sure how many LNER Services still operate along there?
 

scotrail158713

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The route via Bathgate (Helensburgh trains) uses 6-car 334s (and stops EEEEEVERYWHERE!).
Especially in the evening!
During the day the Milngavie services only stop at selected stations within Glasgow, whilst the Helensburgh services stop at others. At night though the Milngavie services stop and the Helensburgh services take over all stops, giving a total journey time of around 1h25m.
 

ValleyLines142

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I used a good number of the Edinburgh - Glasgow's via Falkirk High last week and they weren't particularly busy. For the totally quietest services between Edinburgh and Glasgow, I would look at the ScotRail operated Glasgow - Edinburgh via Carstairs services, I'm not sure how many LNER Services still operate along there?
At the moment just one a day in each direction (06:48 out, 20:19 back).
 

fgwrich

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That's normal. I suspect @fgwrich meant CrossCountry as opposed to LNER. There's a few XCs but it doesn't seem to be nearly normal.
Nope - I Hadn't realised the LNER services had been reduced to just one out and back per day! Thanks both.

XC May provide an alternative then, but you'll be stuck with the delights of a Voyager - in which case I'd rather avoid and take either of the ScotRail routes.
 

Mcr Warrior

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Not been on the route since January/February, but always seemed to be plenty of space (pre COVID-19) during the middle of the day on Glasgow Queen Street to Edinburgh Waverley (via Falkirk Grahamston) trains, certainly as far as Camelon / Falkirk Grahamston.
 

yorkie

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I'm on the 1241 from Edinburgh. I decided to get this, even though it calls at every station via Bathgate, in preference to the next service via Falkirk which is only 4 cars.

The time penalty for me is 5 mins (1348 vs 1353), but I can say the rear set had approx 55 on board from Edinburgh Waverley, while the front set had only 15 on board after I switched units at Haymarket. As I type this (approaching Bathgate), I don't think there is anyone else in the leading coach of this 6 car train.

Edit: It ended up reasonably busy into Glasgow; I posted on the How busy is your train thread an estimate of how many boarded. I did have someone sat diagonally opposite me on a bay of four for a couple of stops towards the end (this would of course have flouted the TPE/XC/TfW guidelines!)
 
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route101

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To be fair you should be fine on the 385s.
Yes is suppose its easy to get 385 over to Edinburgh and onto LNER. Cheaper than XC direct.

I use the routes between Glasgow and Edinburgh a lot , if im in a hurry i will go via Falkirk High. If not i will try and vary it. I do prefer the two routes out of Glasgow Central to Edinburgh.
 

Huntergreed

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Travelled on the Falkirk High and Carstairs routes yesterday, Falkirk High seems busiest, quietest I would say will likely be Falkirk Grahamston or Bathgate.
 

Creepingjesus

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Hi there,

I just registered here as I found this thread whilst trying to find out how busy a Glasgow Edinburgh return journey would be on the train. Public transport is a big trigger for my anxiety and I was really dreading it as I thought it would be choccabloc. This thread made me think it might not be as bad as I think....But I am travelling at peak time so I wasn't sure.
Pleased to report I got the 7.20am from queen street to Haymarket and I think there was only 3 other people in my carriage the whole journey! And returned 5.20 pm Haymarket to Glasgow central....there was more people but it was not busy, not in the slightest. No one was near me. It was a very relaxed journey for me which is not the norm for me so I was really chuffed.
26 quid return though, what's that all about !
 

Huntergreed

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Hi there,

I just registered here as I found this thread whilst trying to find out how busy a Glasgow Edinburgh return journey would be on the train. Public transport is a big trigger for my anxiety and I was really dreading it as I thought it would be choccabloc. This thread made me think it might not be as bad as I think....But I am travelling at peak time so I wasn't sure.
Pleased to report I got the 7.20am from queen street to Haymarket and I think there was only 3 other people in my carriage the whole journey! And returned 5.20 pm Haymarket to Glasgow central....there was more people but it was not busy, not in the slightest. No one was near me. It was a very relaxed journey for me which is not the norm for me so I was really chuffed.
26 quid return though, what's that all about !
Hi there - glad to hear you had a pleasant journey today, the network is very quiet at the moment so you'll really struggle to find any busy trains at all (peak, or otherwise!)
 

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