Wednesday, 9 December 2015
Even before this week's Forth road bridge closure, Scotrail was already suffering from overcrowding on many peak services. The opening of a whole new railway line to Tweedbank without purchasing any new trains to run on it has meant that the class 170/158 fleet has been spread very thin. Scotrail has for many years now operated a loco-hauled service during the evening rush hour on the Fife circle due to a lack of DMUs. Those trains will be needed now more than ever as the fleet is pushed past breaking point. Already there are reports of cancelled and reduced services as far away as Maryhill and Falkirk. Usually news of more passengers on the railway is welcome, but if trains are cancelled or overcrowded, people may be put off travelling again. Electrification of the Edinburgh-Glasgow route will bring new trains to the franchise in two years, but Scotrail is short of trains now, and simply can't wait that long. Scotrail need to hire in more trains, whether they are DMUs from another franchise, or more loco-hauled trains from DRS.