Transport police board crowded Alloa-Edinburgh ScotRail train to ‘stop things kicking off’

TRANSPORT police were forced to keep the peace on board a morning rail service to Edinburgh after passengers “packed in like sardines” began getting rowdy on the overcrowded train.

Wednesday, 15th May 2019, 6:00 am
Updated Wednesday, 15th May 2019, 7:00 am
It was standing room only on the crowded ScotRail service from Alloa to Edinburgh.

Hundreds of passengers crammed on to the ScotRail service from Alloa to the Capital after the previous train was cancelled.

However “heightened tensions” among commuters at Stirling meant transport cops were dispatched on to the train in order to ensure passengers were able to continue their journey safely.

One eyewitness reported seeing some of those trying to board the service at Stirling barred from getting on by ScotRail guards over safety fears, while passengers refusing to move down the carriage meant it was standing room only for the 45 minute journey to Edinburgh.

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The British Transport Police (BTP) confirmed an officer had been dispatched to patrol the train and platform during the journey.

But ScotRail denied the earlier service had actually been cancelled.

One commuter, who asked not to be named, told the Evening News: “The 7:57 is usually five carriages and normally pretty full by time it gets to Larbert but there is nobody standing when it arrives.”

“This train was cancelled and the next one at 8:12 only had three carriages so we had two trainloads of passengers having to fit in this one, which already had people standing.

“Some passengers were refusing to move up the aisle when asked to do so by passengers and only moved when the guard intervened.”

She added: “You could sense there were heightened tensions. Once we squeezed on, we spotted a BTP cop in the carriage to stop things kicking off.”

Another added: “People were just ignoring requests from other passengers to move up the train leaving people stranded on the platform, they couldn’t even get in the door.”

“At one point, the guard intervened and I think things got a little bit heated. After that, the BTP officer got involved and helped calm things down.”

“It is a shame people are so selfish and just can’t control themselves.”

In February, ScotRail were branded “an absolute farce” by furious passengers after a commuter fainted on a train from Tweedbank to Edinburgh.

Fellow passengers blasted conditions in the carriage as a “severe health and safety risk,” describing a “sea of bodies” as the service left the station.

The company said they will be providing extra seats on busy routes when the new timetable starts this weekend.

A ScotRail spokesman said: “We know busy trains is one of our customers’ biggest concerns. That’s why, when our new timetable starts on Sunday, May 19 we’ll be providing more than 4,000 extra seats to Glasgow and 1,500 to Edinburgh every weekday.

“The changes we are making will see even more improvements on Scotland’s railway, with the unprecedented investment in new infrastructure delivering faster journeys, more seats and more services for our customers.”