ScotRail will run extra services on its timetable on Thursday to ease disruption caused by the latest round of strikes.
Network Rail workers who are members of the RMT union walked out this week in a long running dispute over pay and work conditions.
While the pay dispute itself does not involve ScotRail staff, industrial action has had a major impact on the operator’s ability to run services.
ScotRail had initially advised that on Thursday’s non-strike day, the same limited timetable which has run on strike days would be in operation.
However, it has since announced that it will now operate some services on the following routes, in addition to the 12 routes across the central belt, Fife, and the Borders already confirmed:
- Inverness – Perth.
- Inverness – Aberdeen.
- Inverness – Wick & Kyle.
- Aberdeen – Edinburgh.
- Perth – Edinburgh.
- Glasgow Queen Street – Fort William / Mallaig / Oban.
- Ayr – Stranraer.
- Carlisle – Dumfries.
- Ayr – Glasgow Central.
- Gourock – Glasgow Central.
- Neilston – Glasgow Central.
The times of last trains on these routes on Thursday will vary but they will generally run until the normal end of service.
Customers are advised to check their entire journey on the operator’s website, mobile app, or social media channels before they travel.
On the two remaining strike days on Friday, January 6, and Saturday, January 7, ScotRail will return to its strike timetable and run services on 12 routes across the central belt, Fife, and the Borders between 7.30am and 6.30pm.
On strike days the limited service will be as follows:
- Edinburgh Waverley – Glasgow Queen Street via Falkirk High: two trains per hour.
- Edinburgh Waverley – Helensburgh Central: two trains per hour.
- Glasgow Central – Hamilton/Larkhall: two trains per hour.
- Glasgow Central – Lanark: two trains per hour.
- Edinburgh Waverley – Glasgow Central via Shotts: one train per hour.
- Edinburgh Waverley – Cowdenbeath: two trains per hour.
- Edinburgh Waverley – Tweedbank: two trains per hour.
- Edinburgh Waverley – North Berwick: one train per hour.
- Edinburgh Waverley – Larbert: one train per hour.
- Glasgow Queen Street – Larbert: one train per hour.
- Glasgow Queen Street – Falkirk Grahamston: one train per hour.
- Milngavie – Springburn: two trains per hour.
Due to the greater reliance on manual signalling outside the central belt, Network Rail is unable to facilitate passenger services on any other routes on the strike days.
Customers are being warned that final services on strike days will depart well before 6.30pm, so they should plan ahead and ensure they know when their last train will leave. They should only travel if they really need to and should consider alternative options where possible.
David Simpson, ScotRail service delivery director, said: “We have worked really hard to add more services to the timetable for Thursday. We’re pleased that customers will have more travel options throughout the day.
“However, we are still advising customers to check their journeys before they travel and we’re reminding them that we will have to revert to our strike timetable on Friday and Saturday, which we know will be really frustrating for them.
“The widespread disruption across the whole Great Britain rail network as a result of the dispute between Network Rail and the RMT is really disappointing coming at a time when we need to be encouraging more people back to the railway.”
Mick Lynch, RMT general secretary, said: “The government is blocking the union’s attempts to reach a negotiated settlement with the rail employers.
“We have worked with the rail industry to reach successful negotiated settlements ever since privatisation in 1993. And we have achieved deals across the network in 2021 and 2022 where the Department for Transport has no involvement.
“Yet in this dispute, there is an unprecedented level of ministerial interference, which is hamstringing rail employers from being able to negotiate a package of measures with us, so we can settle this dispute.
“We will continue our industrial action campaign while we work towards a negotiated resolution.”