Train ticket prices are to be capped to make rail travel attractive and affordable, the Transport Minister said.
An early fares cap has been negotiated with franchise holder First ScotRail, which will see off-peak fares frozen after next year, Keith Brown told MSPs.
Peak fares will be capped at the Retail Prices Index measure of inflation in January 2014 and 2015, as long as the annual rate stays below 3.5%.
Mr Brown made the announcement as he detailed the procurement programme for refranchising the service.
The current franchise comes to an end in March 2015, allowing for a "prudent procurement programme" and enabling the Scottish Government to take into account an independent review of the handling of the West Coast rail franchise, he told MSPs.
He said: "I want to ensure that the rail service is an attractive, affordable option. I am pleased therefore to announce the following benefits which I had intended to deliver within the next franchise but which will now commence in the current franchise and which underline this Government's commitment to a passenger-focused railway.
"I can confirm that peak fares will be capped in January 2014 and 2015 to RPI, delivering benefits two years earlier at no additional cost to the franchise subsidy."
Off-peak fares will not be raised at all after the January increases, provided inflation remains below 3.5% per year for the remainder of the franchise, Mr Brown said.
He also announced improvements to services in 2014, including more frequent trains between Glasgow and Ayr, improved services to Oban, additional Sunday trains between Aberdeen and the central belt and improved commuter services to Aberdeen.
Rail fares in Scotland will rise by almost 4% from the start of next year. Train operator ScotRail said its train tickets will cost an extra 3.9% from January.