Thousands of rail passengers disrupted by suspected track defect

Thousands of rail passengers were plunged into misery during the evening rush hour when services in and out of Edinburgh were left badly disrupted.

Wednesday, 15th November 2017, 7:14 pm
Updated Monday, 11th December 2017, 11:58 pm
Thousands of rail passengers were disrupted by a suspected track defect. Picture: Jeff J Mitchell/Getty Images
Thousands of rail passengers were disrupted by a suspected track defect. Picture: Jeff J Mitchell/Getty Images

A suspected defect with the track in the Edinburgh Park area, reported by a train driver after detecting unusual movement, saw rail bosses close the line around 3.45pm to allow inspectors on site.

Frustrated passengers were forced to take to buses and cabs or seek other alternative routes with the line reopening at about 4.15pm with a speed restriction in place as crews and carriages were left in the wrong places, causing widespread disruption.

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Routes between Edinburgh and Queen Street via Falkirk High and Dunblane, as well as ones between Helensburgh and Edinburgh and Milngavie and Edinburgh were affected with either delays or cancellations.

It was claimed some were even forced back to earlier stations having almost made it to Edinburgh Waverley.

Social media was awash with commuters venting their fury over the delays and what some said was a ‘lack of information’ from the company.

One person told Scotrail “Sorry isn’t good enough I’m afraid. I will not be travelling this service again” while another fumed “Scotrail have been an absolute shambles today”.

However, one person wasn’t letting train disruption impact on their day: “You know you’ve had a good day when even two consecutive cancellations by your arch nemesis @ScotRail can’t get you down”.

It is expected to take time for services to return to normal with delays thought to last until at least 8pm, but a spokesman said they expected services to be back to normal by morning.

A ScotRail Alliance spokesman said: “We apologise to customers who have been affected by a safety inspection of the track near Edinburgh Park.

“Our engineers worked as quickly as possible to reopen the line.

“To keep people moving, we’ve arranged replacement transport as well as for customers with valid train tickets to travel on First Bus services between Edinburgh and Bathgate.

“We remind anyone who has been delayed by 30 minutes or more to keep hold of their tickets in order to claim compensation through our Delay Repay Guarantee.”