THOSE travelling by train this weekend have been advised to plan ahead with large crowds expected to descend on the west coast.

This Friday and Saturday marks the biggest couple of days in the Scottish racing calendar.

It is Scottish Grand National weekend at Ayr racecourse with the main event taking place on Saturday, April 20.

Though the huge horse racing event falls on the same weekend as the semi-finals of the Scottish Cup - with Aberdeen facing Celtic at Hampden Park in Glasgow on the same day as the national.

Rangers also play Heart of Midlothian at the national stadium the following day, Sunday, April 21, though no racing is taking place that day.

Rail operators ScotRail are advising that the packed weekend of sporting action will mean that trains are busier than usual and those travelling this way should plan ahead.

For horseracing fans, more seats are being added to services between Glasgow Central and Prestwick Town, and a shuttle bus service will run from there to Allison Street in the town, a short walk from the racecourse.  

The buses will be operating between 10am and 1pm, and again from 5pm to 8.30pm, taking customers both to and from the racecourse. 

For those heading to the city for the football, ScotRail has confirmed additional trains will operate between Glasgow Central and Mount Florida, before and after both of the weekend's matches, with queuing systems in operation at both stations. 

The train operator is warning fans that services will be busier than normal, so customers should plan ahead and leave extra time for travel.

ScotRail will have extra staff on hand to assist customers throughout the weekend, and the train operator is reminding everyone that the carrying and consumption of alcohol is prohibited on ScotRail trains and in stations. 

Phil Campbell, ScotRail Customer Operations Director, said: “This weekend is a busy one for major sporting events, and we are looking forward to playing our part to help people travel to both Hampden Park and Ayr Racecourse.  

“In addition to adding more trains and more seats, the ongoing issues at Ayr station following the fire at the former station hotel, means that we need to do more to support our customers. 

“As a result, we have managed to secure buses to operate a special shuttle service to and from Prestwick Town, which will help hundreds of people enjoy one of the most iconic events in the Scottish sporting calendar.  

“Our advice to customers is to leave extra time for travel as trains are likely to be busier than normal, and we will have extra staff in place to offer advice and assistance along the way.  

 “Buying your return tickets in advance through our mTicket system on the ScotRail app will reduce your need to queue, and help your journey run smoothly.” 


To reduce the need to queue on the day, customers are encouraged to buy return tickets in advance via the mTicket system on the ScotRail app.