ScotRail timetable cuts: Why are services being reduced? When will Edinburgh-Glasgow trains run?

ScotRail passengers will lose one third of their weekdays trains from Monday because of a drivers’ pay dispute – here’s everything you need to know.

Thursday, 19th May 2022, 6:15 pm

How many services will be affected?

ScotRail will reduce its Monday to Friday trains by 694, from 2,150 to 1,456 – a 33 per cent cut.

How will that change timetables?

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The last trains on ScotRail's flagship route between Glasgow Queen Street and Edinburgh Waverley will leave at 10.15pm from Monday - 90 minutes earlier than normal. Picture: John Devlin

Services on many routes will run less frequently, with last trains leaving earlier, by several hours in some cases.

The last Edinburgh-Fife service will leave at 8pm compared to 11pm at present, with services from the capital to North Berwick ending at 7.40pm (11.14pm), to Tweedbank on the Borders Railway at 9.43pm (11.43pm) and to Bathgate at 8.52pm (11.56pm).

Route-by-route timetables are on the ScotRail website.

How will Edinburgh-Glasgow trains on ScotRail’s flagship line be affected?

On the main route via Falkirk High, peak hour trains will reduced from every 15 minutes to half-hourly, and run half-hourly for most of the rest of the day, with the last service in each direction leaving at 10.15pm compared to 11.45pm at present.

However, a slightly later train leaves Edinburgh for Glasgow Queen Street via Bathgate at 10.23pm.

But didn’t ScotRail pledged to protect last trains?

Yes. Chief operating officer Joanne Macguire told passenger watchdog Transport Focus at its board meeting in Edinburgh on Wednesday: "Protecting first and last services, you will not be surprised to hear, is an absolute priority for us."

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What about weekends?

Similar reductions are still to be announced for Saturdays, when 2,058 services currently run, and Sundays (1,088).

Will ScotRail put on buses to replace cut services?

No

Why are services being cut?

ScotRail says it does not have enough drivers to cover its full timetable because many have stopped volunteering to work overtime after rejecting a 2.2 per cent pay offer.

The drivers union Aslef has ordered a strike ballot, which closes in July.

Why is ScotRail dependent on drivers working overtime?

It says there have been delays to the recruitment and training of drivers because of Covid restrictions, such as instructors being unable to oversee trainees in train cabs because the limited space made the required 2m distancing impossible.

When will the full timetable be restored?

No date has been set as it would depend on progress or settlement of the dispute.

A formal review will be made on Friday June 3, but that is not an indication of how long the cuts will last.

Restoring services would require more drivers to complete their training, or more drivers to volunteer to work overtime.

Chris Gibb, chief executive of Scottish Rail Holdings, which oversees the newly-nationalised ScotRail for the Scottish Government, said on Wednesday: "As drivers become competent [trained], we will reinstate services as necessary in the coming weeks and months.”

Haven’t the number of services ScotRail runs just increased?

Yes. On Sunday, an extra 150 services were added to the weekday timetable, although these remain 250 fewer than before the pandemic.

Saturday services are due to increase from 1,949 to 2,058 this weekend, pending announcement of the temporary timetable for Saturdays.

Sunday services increased from 1,084 to 1,088 last weekend, with the temporary timetable for Sundays also awaited.