New Robroyston station opens as rail timetables change
A new railway station has opened in Scotland as major changes to rail timetables come into force.
The first train called at Robroyston station at 08:37, en route to Edinburgh Waverley from Glasgow Queen Street.
The new station, in the north east of Glasgow, will offer local residents access to the railway network for the first time since 1956.
Meanwhile a new timetable has taken effect, with ScotRail promising 10,000 extra seats every day.
But it was not an ideal start for the rail firm when a vehicle hit a rail bridge at Luncarty, forcing the closure of the line between Perth and Inverness.
Replacement buses were laid on for passengers while Network Rail engineers made the bridge safe.
The new station forms part of a £475m investment programme across Scotland, which was first announced in 2015.
Two trains per hour will now run from Robroyston to both Glasgow and Edinburgh along the Cumbernauld Line.
There is also cycle storage and 263 free parking places.
Train timetable changes are coming into effect across the UK, with promises of shorter journey times, more frequent trains and new routes.
In Scotland, the promised improvements include:
- Up to three trains an hour between Inverurie, Dyce and Aberdeen, plus more direct journeys across Aberdeenshire between Inverurie, Stonehaven and Montrose
- The route between Edinburgh and Glasgow via Falkirk High will have eight carriages for every peak service
- Extra carriages for two of the most popular morning services on the Borders Railway, between Tweedbank and South Gyle
It comes after ScotRail was issued with a series of improvement notices, following complaints about overcrowding and cancellations.
When a new timetable was introduced last December, Nicola Sturgeon criticised the rail firm for "unacceptable" cancellations and delays.
And a survey published in January revealed that passenger satisfaction hit a 16-year low the previous autumn.
Passenger satisfaction improved however by spring, rising from 79% to 85%, according to the National Rail Passenger Survey.
Transport Focus said the latest timetable improvements needed to be delivered smoothly so passengers could reliably use new and existing services.
"Many passengers should have a greater choice of services with more seats as result of these changes," said its chief executive Anthony Smith. "However, there will also be some who lose out with fewer or slower services.
"Train companies must have plenty of visible staff on hand to guide passengers, to answer questions on how these changes will affect them, and to explain what travel choices they have."
The industry body the Rail Delivery Group urged passengers to check their journey details in advance.
David Simpson, ScotRail's operations director, said timetable improvements would "deliver even more benefits for our customers, delivering more seats, more services".
Further timetable improvements will be delivered in May and December 2020.