‘High fees and abysmal service’ - Edinburgh reacts after ScotRail commuter faints on overcrowded train

Chronic overcrowding has been reported regularly on the 07.26 train from Tweedbank.
Chronic overcrowding has been reported regularly on the 07.26 train from Tweedbank.
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Readers have been reacting with anger and speaking of their own experiences after a ScotRail commuter fainted on an overcrowded train to Edinburgh.

Engineer Barrie Arthur, 35, said he witnessed the incident while on board the 7:26am service from Tweedbank to Edinburgh as a result of only two carriages being in operation on Monday.

READ MORE: Anger after ScotRail commuter collapses on board ‘dangerously packed’ Tweedbank-Edinburgh train

He told the Evening News the conditions were so bad that he believes it contributed to a young man collapsing with squashed commuters unable to even lift their arms.

Mr Arthur, of Haddington, said the young man was only two people away from him when he collapsed and that people “gasped” before trying to help him back to his feet. He added: “We were crushed like sardines and there was no room.

“It is a severe health and safety breach. There was a sea of bodies and it was a shambles.”

Evening News readers have today been reacting to the incident.

Joanne Macsween O’Donnell said: “This does not surprise me in any way, that this happened. It is awful and must be a health and safety issue!

“I regularly travel from Livingston North into Edinburgh and I can’t understand how they can put on 3 carriage trains on peak services. Yet through the day 6 carriages run half empty. We pay extra for the peak service however we are the one’s being compromised!

“I feel sorry for people who commute from Uphall, they often don’t get on the train as it’s so packed by the time it reaches there. There is hardly a week that passes without problems/cancellations! The rail prices go up on an annual basis however the service doesn’t appear to improve any!”

Christopher Black said: “This is standard on a lot of peak time trains. When questioning the social media teams about a 3 carriage train on the Bathgate line at 8.10am last week, I was told that due to a signal fault in Stirling, it meant the fleet was out of sync. It was only when I told them that it was nonsense, they corrected themselves.

“High fees and an abysmal service is totally unacceptable. We are told to use buses and trains for the commute to work but robbed blind for doing so.”

Moira Scott said: “In November, I travelled on a Tweedbank-Edinburgh train, catching it at Eskbank. There was standing room only, corridors full and doorways a nightmare and still people crammed on. This is surely a Health and Safety issue that should be addressed by Scotrail. Incidentaly there were 4 carriages that day when there are normally 2. Pity help passengers if there is ever an accident. Bus from now on, only allowed to have so many standing.”

Steven McIntosh said: “Was a matter of time before this happened and it won’t be the last, the peak time trains are a disgrace, generally 2 carriages on at Newcraighall at 8am then only 2/3 carriages leaving Waverley at 5.22pm every night.”

And one reader, Anne Marie Appleby, said: “My daughter passed out on a packed train last year and thankfully it being so packed cushioned her fall but the staff at the next station were lovely and a member of the public stayed with her till she felt better and I got to her....but if there had been more carriages the train wouldn’t have been packed and she wouldn’t have passed out.”

Other readers also questioned what would happen in the event of a fire breaking out on board the train.

But Christopher Keyse said: “Don’t get on it, simple. Get the next one.”

However Gill Twc responded: “If you start at a set time you really don’t have the luxury of that flexibility. Peak time trains are all the same!”

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