Passengers on one of the country’s busiest commuter routes are facing overcrowding as ScotRail cuts the number of carriages on some rush-hour trains.
The rail operator is reducing the number of carriages on the Glasgow Queen Street to Edinburgh via Falkirk High route as some trains on that route have reached the end of their lease and are being transferred to operators elsewhere in the UK.
ScotRail said that once its new electric Hitachi Class 385 trains enter service it will return to full capacity. In the meantime, ten rush-hour services between the two cities will run with three or four carriages instead of the usual six.
The rail operator has introduced a reduced £13 anytime day return fare for travel on the Glasgow Queen Street to Edinburgh via Airdrie route, which is almost half the current price. It is not known when the new trains will enter service, however the fare is available until 19 May.
A ScotRail statement said: “All services on our timetable are planned to run, but from Monday, 26 February a limited number of services on the Glasgow Queen Street – Edinburgh Waverley via Falkirk High route will have fewer carriages than normal.
“This is because some of our existing trains on that route have reached the end of their lease and will transfer to operators elsewhere in the UK.
“Once our brand new electric Hitachi Class 385 trains enter service we will return to full capacity - and actually increase the number of carriages we are able to run.”
Scottish Labour’s rural economy and connectivity spokesman, Colin Smyth, said: “These are deeply troubling reports that once again reveal a lack of planning by ScotRail.
“Commuters on one of the country’s most important routes are now facing delays and disruption. It is increasingly clear that SNP transport minister Humza Yousaf’s warm words about improving services are simply being ignored by the private rail firms who just do as they please while passengers suffer.
“Not only is the new rolling stock delayed, but trade unions are concerned it may not be safe to use at all.
“ScotRail needs to get a grip and resolve this situation immediately.”