Edinburgh line reopens as passengers angry at being left in dark

Network Rail engineers working overnight on the Winchburgh landslip. Picture: Network Rail
Network Rail engineers working overnight on the Winchburgh landslip. Picture: Network Rail
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The main rail line between Edinburgh and Glasgow reopened last night following a landslip, some 18 hours after through trains were halted.

The all clear came as ScotRail was criticised for leaving late-night passengers in the dark waiting for a replacement bus over part of the route.

Repairs to the failed wall continuing today. Picture: ScotRail Alliance

Repairs to the failed wall continuing today. Picture: ScotRail Alliance

Engineers were completing repairs to a wall section, which collapsed onto the track at Winchburgh in West Lothian on Wednesday afternoon.

Passengers were switched to buses between Linlithgow and Edinburgh Park or urged to use one of three other lines between Edinburgh and Glasgow.

Buses also replaced trains on the Edinburgh-Dunblane line.

However, up to 70 travellers on the last train from Glasgow on Wednesday night had to wait 40 minutes for a replacement bus at Linlithgow, not knowing if it would show up.

The landslip happened just west of the Winchburgh Tunnel in West Lothian. Picture: ScotRail Alliance

The landslip happened just west of the Winchburgh Tunnel in West Lothian. Picture: ScotRail Alliance

BACKGROUND: Edinburgh-Glasgow line remains closed after landslip
One passenger said no staff had been on hand or information provided about the half-hourly shuttle.

The train arrived in Linlithgow at 12:10am and the bus should have arrived to collect them shortly after 12:30am, but ScotRail said it was delayed until about 12:50am.

A passenger, who asked to be called David, said he had became fed up after waiting half an hour and took a taxi home instead.

He had tried phoning ScotRail, but the helpline was closed.

The 35-year-old said: “When we got on the train, we were told there would be a bus from Linlithgow, but when we arrived there was no sign of it or what to do.

“We were just dumped in the middle of the night and left to stand in the dark.

“Nobody knew anything. It was an awful experience.”

David said a “big crowd of people” was left waiting, which he estimated at up to 70.

However, he said when he managed to contact ScotRail yesterday the operation had apologised and offered a full refund of his train ticket and taxi fare.

The ScotRail Alliance admitted there were no staff on duty because the station buildings had closed.

The train operator said where the passengers were waiting was out of sight of CCTV cameras, so they could not be seen by control room staff.

But it said passengers could have made contact via help points on the platform.

A spokesperson said: “We aim to arrange for bus and train times to be as closely aligned as possible and are sorry some customers had to wait longer than anticipated last night.

“The landslip at Winchburgh has caused significant disruption to services and we hope customers understand we’re doing everything we can to keep them moving and get them where they need to be.”

ScotRail last night praised the work of engineers who had cleared the area, allowing the line to reopen.

“Thanks to the dedication and expertise of our engineers on the ground, who have been working tirelessly, we have now managed to safely reopen the line between Linlithgow and Edinburgh Park,” a spokesman said.

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