The Scotrail driver took home a salary of more than £100,000 last year

A TRAIN driver at ScotRail has earned more than £100,000 after staff shortages boosted overtime pay, it has emerged.

According to The Scottish Mail on Sunday, the employee of the Scottish government operator received a salary of £103,000 in 2023.

A machinist earned a salary of £103,000 last yearCredit: Alamy

It is believed to be a first for the company, with employees now among the highest paid in the public sector.

But this was because the staff member almost doubled his pay in overtime, it was revealed.

His wages consisted of his basic salary of £58,062, with a further £45,633 from overtime.

Data shared in a freedom of information request shows that overtime has increased salaries across the company.

Of ScotRail’s 1,250 drivers, a total of 240 managed to earn more than £70,000 by 2023, while a further 80 earned more than £80,000.

This is double the number of train drivers who managed to earn more than £70,000 the year before.

Now that overtime payout is almost as much as someone’s salary, taxpayers may be inclined to think it’s time to train some more drivers

Daniel O’Malleythe Scottish Liberal Democrat transport spokesperson

Of a total of 1,250 drivers, approximately 625 have a gross salary between £60,000 and £70,000.

The rail operator says staff shortages are a common reason why trains are often canceled or delayed.

And managers are therefore grateful to drivers who can intervene if problems arise.

But ScotRail has come under fire for its huge overtime payments, with some calling for the transport company to hire and train new drivers rather than pay out the huge sums.

ScotRail passengers left in complete darkness before walking along the pitch-black tracks after the train passed between stations2

Daniel O’Malley, the Scottish Liberal Democrat transport spokesman, explained that as the payments are “almost as much as someone’s salary”, this could create new jobs in the transport sector.

Speaking to The Times, he said: ‘I commend the willingness of train drivers to put in extra hours to ensure the traveling public are not disadvantaged by cancellations.

“However, because overtime pay is almost as much as someone’s salary, taxpayers may be inclined to think it’s time to train some more drivers.

‘Especially when few other civil servants earn this kind of money.

“This would also have the added benefit of increasing flexibility regarding shift patterns.”

Mark Ilderton, director of ScotRail, said drivers’ salaries were “in line with the market”.

Read more about the Scottish sun

This is because the jobs require “highly qualified individuals” who have “high skills and a high level of responsibility.”

ScotRail was taken into public hands in April 2022 after years of anger over delays, cancellations and expensive tickets.


A BIG update will be announced on ScotRail train fares, which is good news for passengers.

The railway company launched a pilot project last October to eliminate peak rail rates.

It meant passengers paid the same price for tickets instead of having to pay higher prices during busier times.

It was rolled out in a bid to boost rail travel post-pandemic after passenger numbers fell.

The scheme was due to last until March this year, but was extended until June 28.

But there will be more good news for passengers as the scheme is expanded.

Prime Minister John Swinney has announced that peak rates will be scrapped for a further three months.

It would mean that customers will continue to pay off-peak prices until September.

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