ScotRail – Spotlight on Employee Network Groups

ScotRail are the primary rail passenger service in Scotland. Before the COVID-19 pandemic, they provided nearly 100 million passenger journeys each year, with over 2,300 intercity, regional, and suburban rail services a day.

They have more than 340 stations and 800 trains serving Scotland’s railway.

With more than 5,000 employees from Wick to Dumfries, ScotRail are one of Scotland’s largest employers.


ScotRail faced challenges due to COVID-19, with passenger numbers down and social distancing in place. The organisation took the time to focus on creating inclusivity within the organisation, and the executive team recognised the need for the business to become more diverse and inclusive.

Consequently, an LGBT+ and allies network group was formed, with the organisation’s commercial director and LGBT+ executive sponsor initially taking on the role of the chair before handing over the reins to two front line staff and group members; these people then took over to co-chair the network. Their aim was to listen directly to the network and act on what they needed to do to make the organisation more inclusive.

Innovative actions

Some key actions were taken:

  • Delivered interactive LGBT+ training to more than 300 middle and frontline managers.
  • Developed an inclusive language guide on sexual orientation, gender, and gender identity that was promoted across the business.
  • Delivered a campaign promoting allyship and the use of pronouns on name badges and e-signatures.
  • Created a virtual wall where colleagues were asked to submit inclusion pledges and received progress flag lanyards in return.
  • Designed an LGBT+ pin badge (with a donation from each purchase going to an LGBT charity).

The network group also worked with engineering and commercial directors to create a train livery, based on the Progress Pride flag, to promote inclusivity to all.

Evidence of impact

Since its introduction, the LGBT+ and allies network group has made significant progress that has resulted in positive change both for employees and service users. This includes:

  • Long lasting awareness raising;
  • Management engagement and commitment of support; and
  • Resources for employees.

ScotRail’s Pride train was launched and will be present until 2029. It serves as a symbol of support and representation for both employees and customers. It is not just a temporary and novel idea, but a commitment to lasting representation for the LGBT+ community.

The information contained within this resource was accurate at the time of its publication and subsequent revision. This article was created in 2021 and revised in April 2022.

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