Midlothian route hit by ScotRail temporary timetable changes

ScotRail is reminding customers that it will make temporary changes to its timetable from today (Tuesday, January 4), due to the continued impact of coronavirus.

Tuesday, 4th January 2022, 10:40 am
Updated Tuesday, 4th January 2022, 10:49 am
A train on the line at Borthwick

The rapid spread of the Omicron variant has seen a recent spike of Covid-related absences among ScotRail staff – with some having tested positive, others awaiting PCR test results, and many who are self-isolating as a result of being in close contact with someone who has tested positive.  

These staff absences have had an impact on ScotRail services - mainly across the central belt of Scotland - and have resulted in a number of services being cancelled or amended in recent weeks. 

In order to provide customers with a level of certainty about which services are running in the coming weeks, ScotRail will make temporary changes to its timetable this week, including on the Borders Railway line which serves Shawfair, Eskbank, Newtongrange and Gorebridge. 

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David Simpson, ScotRail Operations Director, said:  “Like most businesses, ScotRail is not immune to the impact of coronavirus. We’ve been working flat out to run a safe and reliable railway in really difficult and rapidly changing circumstances. 

“As we continue to battle against the impact of coronavirus, we want to provide customers with a level of certainty, which is why we are introducing some temporary changes to our timetable from January 4-28. 

“We’ve looked to spread these changes out across the day where possible to minimise the impact on our customers, but people should plan ahead and continue to check the train times until they arrive at the station.” 

Robert Samson, Transport Focus Senior Stakeholder Manager, said: “It’s better for some services to be temporarily withdrawn on a planned basis than to have chaotic last-minute cancellations as these are harder for passengers to deal with.

“Passengers need clear, reliable information to plan their journeys and a timetable that is dependable. These temporary changes to the timetable should deliver an increased level of certainty for passengers.”

The timetable changes are mainly focused across the central belt - with changes spread out across the day where possible to minimise the impact on customers’ journeys - and will operate Monday to Friday until Friday, January 28. 

ScotRail will continue to review staff absence levels over the coming weeks in the event of a further spike in cases.