Commuters crammed ‘like sardines’ due to games

A train pulls in to Drem station.
A train pulls in to Drem station.
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Commuters in East Lothian claim they are being crammed into trains “like sardines” after half the carriages on rush-hour services were diverted to Glasgow.

Some passengers at Wallyford and Musselburgh were left on the platform on Monday morning because the 7.17am service from North Berwick was full.

Services that usually have four carriages have been reduced to two, cutting the number of seats by 99. The disruption is set to continue until Saturday.

ScotRail officials said carriages were being moved to where they are most needed during the fortnight of international sport in Glasgow.

The company’s newest rolling stock, the Class 380 trains, have been drafted in to give Commonwealth Games visitors the best possible experience, but travellers on the other side of Scotland have been left fuming.

Regular commuters from East Lothian said they had been warned by ScotRail to expect older carriages, but were not told the number would be reduced.

Between five and seven trains a day between North Berwick and Edinburgh will run with the full four carriages during the Commonwealth Games. ScotRail said it encouraged passengers to use those services.

Jeremy Findlay, 56, from Gullane said: “Everyone at Longniddry, where I got on, couldn’t get a seat. At Prestonpans, half the people got on, but half couldn’t, and you could imagine what happened at Wallyford and Musselburgh. It was a complete farce.

“They do have trains with four carriages, but for some reason they don’t seem to be using them on the busy services in the morning.

“I have no problem putting up with old carriages, but there should at least be three of them. Yesterday I drove the car into Edinburgh, because I couldn’t take the risk of not getting on the train because I had a meeting. There was no apology from the driver about the overcrowded conditions.”

A ScotRail spokeswoman said: “We are doing everything possible to make the best use of every train available to us in order to meet the needs of customers and spectators during this busy travel period.

“We would like to thank customers for their patience and ask that they check our website for the best travel times and options for them ahead of journeys.”

Last night, Glasgow Central was shut by a signalling problem as thousands of Celtic fans headed to Murrayfield for a Champions League qualifier.