ScotRail services frozen out while travellers fume

SCOTRAIL services were plunged into chaos yesterday knocking out trains in and out of the capital for most of the day.

Thursday, 28th December 2017, 11:55 am
Updated Thursday, 28th December 2017, 11:59 am
ScotRail services in and out of Edinburgh were severely affected yesterday. Picture: Jeff J Mitchell/Getty Images

Multiple points failures and mechanical breakdowns saw passengers left stranded with the operator having to offer refunds for those delayed by more than 30 minutes.

Some services were replaced by buses, as engineers battled to restore normal operations.

But after several failed deadlines to get things going came and went, crews and rolling stock were still out of position by early evening, compounding the day of rail misery.

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By afternoon rush-hour, services were still not back to normal, with no news of how this morning would fare.

It saw services including the 16:30 Edinburgh to Queen Street cancelled with Scotrail tweeting that it was “cancelled due to the train crew being out of position”.

A ScotRail Alliance spokesman said: “Due to multiple points failures caused by very low temperatures, a number of services to and from Edinburgh are facing delays, cancellations, or alterations.

“We know how frustrating this is for our customers, and we apologise for the impact this has on their day.

“Engineers are working flat out to fix this problem.”

He added: “We encourage customers to check @ScotRail, download our app or visit for the most up to date information.

“Customers delayed by 30 minutes or more are entitled to compensation by visiting our website.”

Frustrated customers were quick to share their unhappiness on social media.

Heather Davie tweeted: “I’m a nurse due back at work, are you putting on buses?”

“Staff at Kirkcaldy not communicating anything.”

Another, Andy Frew, added: “Of course there is disruption, Scotrail was, as we all know, put on this planet for the sole purpose of bringing disruption and chaos to our daily lives.”

There were problems elsewhere on the network too.

Iced-up rail points at Rutherglen, near Glasgow, caused significant train disruption.. The problem, reported at 8am, caused delays to trains until 3:30pm.

It all came as a snow warning was issued for parts of Scotland after wintry conditions caused rail disruption across the Central Belt.

Southern Scotland and northern England were expected to be hit with 2-5cm of snow tomorrow, which could affect road and rail journeys.

The yellow – “be aware” – severe weather alert from the Met Office will be in force from 3am to noon.

A spokesperson for the agency said: “A spell of snow is likely across parts of northern England and southern Scotland on Friday morning. Some roads and railways are likely to be affected, with longer journey times by road, bus and train services. Some delays to air travel are also possible.”

The Met Office said snow would affect ground above 100m, which includes part of most cross-Border routes.

It said up to 10cm was possible over higher ground with the potential for more elsewhere.