Busiest trains hit by cuts to carriages

Passengers on Edinburgh to Glasgow train Image copyright Kwaziicat

Passengers on Scotland's busiest rail route are facing further rush-hour overcrowding as ScotRail cuts the number of carriages from some trains.

Trains on the main Edinburgh-Glasgow line, via Falkirk High, will be affected by the shortage of carriages.

It has been caused by some class 170 diesel trains reaching the end of their lease period while the new electric trains have been hit by delays.

ScotRail apologised for "any inconvenience" to customers.

On Monday morning, a problem at Linlithgow was leading to additional disruption.

ScotRail said services between Glasgow Queen Street and Edinburgh via Falkirk High would be cancelled, delayed or revised.

It also offered a half-price fare on the alternative, but slower, Glasgow to Edinburgh via Airdrie service until 19 May in an attempt to get customers to lessen the strain on the main line.

The train operator expects 10 trains a day to run with fewer carriages until the new electric trains complete their testing.

Peak-hour trains, which normally operate with six carriages, will have just three or four.

Image copyright Dave Souza
Image caption The introduction of the new Class 385 electric trains has been delayed

Which trains are affected?

Morning peak

Glasgow Queen Street to Edinburgh Waverley via Falkirk High

0600 will run will with four carriages

0745 will run with three carriages

0815 will run with four carriages

Edinburgh Waverley to Glasgow Queen Street via Falkirk High

0645 will run with three carriages

0715 will run with four carriages

0845 will run with three carriages

Evening peak

Glasgow Queen Street to Edinburgh Waverley via Falkirk High

1745 will run with three carriages

1815 will run with four carriages

Edinburgh Waverley to Glasgow Queen Street via Falkirk High

1645 will run with three carriages

1715 will run with four carriages

New electric trains

ScotRail said the problem had been caused by four of its three-carriage class 170 diesel trains coming to the end of their lease and being transferred to other UK train operators.

They were meant to have been replaced last year by the new class 385 electric trains, made by Japanese manufacturer Hitachi.

ScotRail has ordered 46 three-carriage and 24 four-carriage sets of the 385 trains to run between Glasgow and Edinburgh, as well as on suburban routes south of Glasgow and to Dunblane, Stirling and Alloa.

Image caption The lease on a number of Class 170 diesel trains has expired

They form part of the Edinburgh-Glasgow Improvement Programme (EGIP), which has been introducing electrification to the line.

The first of the Hitachi trains were due to have entered service in September but manufacturing hitches and delays to electrification of the line have put this back to late next month.

However, this could be further delayed by drivers who claim there are problems with seeing signals clearly from the cabs of the new trains.

A ScotRail spokesman said that when the new Hitachi trains do enter service they will increase capacity on the route.

He also said some services on the main line were already run by class 380 electric trains, which operated with seven carriages at peak hours.

These will not be affected by the reduction in carriages.

The spokesman said: "As we prepare for our brand new Hitachi class 385 trains we are making some changes to our Edinburgh-Glasgow via Falkirk High service.

"This will result in a small number of services having a reduced number of seats. Customers should plan their journey in advance."

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