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Tartan train takes to the tracks

05/08/2003

Visitors arriving in Scotland on the London to Edinburgh sleeper will get their first taste of tartan on the tracks.

A tartan-wrapped train, created through a partnership betweein visitscotland and ScotRail, made its first journey to Waverley Station in Edinburgh this morning.

Tourism Minister Frank McAveety said:

"Scotland's fantastic culture and heritage and our vibrant cities are attracting record numbers of visitors this year from south of the border as well as from overseas.

"We are fortunate to have attractions like the Edinburgh Festival, and we want to make sure our visitors have a "must return" experience.

"Tourism is everyone's business, and this partnership between VisitScotland and ScotRail publicise this environmentally-friendly way of visiting Scotland."

The London-Scotland sleeper will be painted in tartan livery for a period of eight months (until the end of March 2004).

Visitscotland is working in conjunction with ScotRail to market Scotland to one of Scotland's most important markets within the UK - London and the south east of England which sends 2.4 million of UK visitors to Scotland (29% of all English visitors).

Expenditure from London and the south east totals £640 million (30% of all expenditure from English visitors).

The tartan train initiative also links into wider Executive policies, promoting public transport and green transport initiatives. In 2001 only 10% of trips by UK visitors to Scotland were made using the train, while 65% were made using private cars.