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Scotrail - Post Covid Consultation - Service Reductions

diamond chap

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Abc100

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https://www.edinburghnews.scotsman....under-planned-post-pandemic-timetable-3353149

E-G to remain half-hourly off-peak and Edinburgh-Inverness to be routed via Stirling, among other changes.

no mention of Intercity routes to Aberdeen - I can assume that means they will remain on a 2-hourly frequency which is 50% of the pre-pandemic level, while they’re speaking about restoring the hourly service as far as Dundee only. You would think they’d at least consider restoring hourly from Aberdeen during the peak morning and evening times!

this of course would be fairly representative of the scotgov’s general bad attitude toward Aberdeen and the north-east - so wouldn’t expect anything else from a nationalised rail company!
 

TheAlbanach_

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Tweedbank to remain hourly? Are they kidding? The Tweedbank trains are full and standing throughout the day and especially on weekends.
 

Huntergreed

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https://www.edinburghnews.scotsman....under-planned-post-pandemic-timetable-3353149

E-G to remain half-hourly off-peak and Edinburgh-Inverness to be routed via Stirling, among other changes.
E-G is understandable enough given the loadings I’ve seen on these recently.

The Edinburgh - Inverness trains going via Stirling is a rather unexpected one. Upon closer reading, this is an entire shake-up of rail services in Fife. I see the Edinburgh - Perths will now be routed via Dunfermline which is surprising. They’re also adding Edinburgh - Dundee stoppers to replace the Inverness services.

I presume the Edinburgh - Inverness services are going to run in addition to the Edinburgh - Dunblane services, in which case Stirling will see a significant rise in services to the capital.

Also noted the mention of some Inter7City trains being used on the WHL. Is this really accurate? I presume 158’s and 170’s aren’t cleared along here due to the plug doors, but I presume HST’s are as the sleeper used to haul Mk3’s along this route? Presumably this is what’s being implied here?
 

scotrail158713

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That seems a strange move, as the Edinburgh/Perth via Fife service (which the Inverness trains formed part of) is to remain hourly; Unless, as the article hints at, these are to become all-stations stoppers ?
I wouldn’t be surprised if the Edinburgh-Perth ones were all-stations. The article says that they will run via Dunfermline, in addition to an hourly service to Glenrothes. If it is all-stations then I suppose Scotrail can then get away with “no service reductions” as that section is 2tph currently.

If anything it could be seen as an increase, as Lochgelly and Cardenden are currently hourly. And it would open up direct connections to Perth from Fife.
 

kez19

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I see in the article about the extra trains between Dundee and Glasgow as hourly, trains from Glasgow to Dundee (Aberdeen) are roughly hourly! Trains from Dundee to Glasgow I’m sure are hourly as it is but with a couple of locals to Glasgow every few hours in between.
 

Bikeman78

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I see in the article about the extra trains between Dundee and Glasgow as hourly, trains from Glasgow to Dundee (Aberdeen) are roughly hourly! Trains from Dundee to Glasgow I’m sure are hourly as it is but with a couple of locals to Glasgow every few hours in between.
Possibly Aberdeen to Dundee will be hourly with trains going alternately to Glasgow or Edinburgh? Extra trains would start at Dundee to fill in the gaps and provide an hourly service west/south of there.
 

Highlandspring

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What a depressing contrast with big Phil Verster's 'revolution in rail' timetable ambitions. Until February 2020 the rail network in Scotland felt like it was on the up, now it's more like a return to the managed decline of the 1980s.
 

Abc100

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I see in the article about the extra trains between Dundee and Glasgow as hourly, trains from Glasgow to Dundee (Aberdeen) are roughly hourly! Trains from Dundee to Glasgow I’m sure are hourly as it is but with a couple of locals to Glasgow every few hours in between.
The Dundee to Glasgow trains are currently roughly hourly but the Aberdeen to Glasgow (via Dundee) were slashed to 2-hourly during the pandemic and now this appears to being made permanent, resulting in a 50% service reduction north of Dundee.

aberdeen to the capital looks exceptionally poor - already LNER are carrying the bulk of passengers on this route due to the infrequent scotrail timings under the new timetable
 

43096

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You would think they’d at least consider restoring hourly from Aberdeen during the peak morning and evening times!
Is there a morning and evening peak any more, though?
 

kez19

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The Dundee to Glasgow trains are currently roughly hourly but the Aberdeen to Glasgow (via Dundee) were slashed to 2-hourly during the pandemic and now this appears to being made permanent, resulting in a 50% service reduction north of Dundee.

aberdeen to the capital looks exceptionally poor - already LNER are carrying the bulk of passengers on this route due to the infrequent scotrail timings under the new timetable

Well its one way of putting people off using Scotrail to Glasgow from Dundee, may as well just use the Megabus if thats the case (last I used Scotrail was September last year).

I agree in terms of LNER you may as well add Crosscountry too (even though they too are few and far between also).

In terms of Edinburgh with LNER - seems to be that Scotrail may as well just give LNER the title (I wonder if passengers from Aberdeen when using LNER get the fares slightly cheaper to Scotrail?)
 
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Abc100

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Is there a morning and evening peak any more, though?
From experience there seems to be - but hard to say as scotrail have axed the busiest trains in each - eg 0840 abd to glq and 1740 glq to abd!

as things continue to ease you’d expect to see some travelling peaks return - and bear in mind this timetable proposal is for 2022!
 

kez19

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Possibly Aberdeen to Dundee will be hourly with trains going alternately to Glasgow or Edinburgh? Extra trains would start at Dundee to fill in the gaps and provide an hourly service west/south of there.

I maybe have misread this but if "extra" trains were to start from Dundee to either Glasgow or Edinburgh, I would expect the Glasgow end to at least get an improved frequency to what it is now, however on the Edinburgh side - how many trains does Edinburgh need from this end? (Dundee), Edinburgh seems to have more trains going to it than Glasgow.

I remember under the "First" days it seemed from Dundee you had at least a bit of both.

I be better if I was wanting to go to Perth or further either using Megabus (or the scenic tour with Stagecoach's 16 or X7)

I just found this - https://www.scotrail.co.uk/about-sc...ervices-and-20000-more-seats-scots-passengers

fair enough its October 2020 but it does seem possibly a kick in the teeth?

Transport Minister, Derek Mackay, today announced a “revolution in rail” in Scotland, which will deliver the largest programme of benefits to rail passengers seen in a generation.


ScotRail will introduce 200 new services, providing 20,000 more seats per day, with passengers across Tayside, Stirlingshire, Perthshire, Aberdeenshire and the Borders set to feel the benefits.


This represents a significant enhancement to ScotRail’s current timetable, which currently runs 2,300 services per day.


Timetable improvements are made possible by the decision by the Scottish Government to retain 13 additional Class 170 diesel trains (39 additional carriages) beyond the terms of their current leases, which were due to end on 2018. These extra trains create the capacity to make timetable service improvements – with input supplied by local stakeholders to finalise the best fit to local priorities.


More rolling stock will allow ScotRail to run more frequent services both for commuters and city to city passengers, whilst the increased flexibility it offers result in significant time savings on popular routes.


From 2018 there will be more services confirmed for Tayside, Stirlingshire, Perthsire Aberdeenshire. There will also be increased peak capacity across Fife and the Borders, relieving some of the pressure on commuter services, along with more commuter options linking local towns between Glasgow and Edinburgh via Cumbernauld and Falkirk.

More in the link provided


Aberdeen:
Hourly ‘local’ service across the city between Inverurie Montrose, stopping at all stations.


Additional services to the above to create a half hourly service between Aberdeen and Inverurie. Additional early morning and late evening services to Elgin, Keith, Huntly and Insch
Hourly limited stop High Speed Train service to both Edinburgh and Glasgow
Many High Speed trains running from Glasgow or Edinburgh will be extended through to Inverness


Dundee:
Hourly service to Broughty Ferry, Monifieth, Carnoustie and Arbroath
Half hourly service to Perth, Stirling and Glasgow – one limited stop High Speed Train and one regional service
Continuation of existing half hourly service to Edinburgh - one limited stop High Speed Train and one regional service


Perth:
Hourly service to Inverness from Edinburgh in one hour, from Glasgow in the other hour);
Minimum of an hourly service to Glasgow and Edinburgh (mix of limited stop High Speed Train and one regional service)
New regional Glasgow – Dundee service provides an hourly service between Glasgow and Stirling, Bridge of Allan, Dunblane, Glaneagles, Perth and Invergowrie.


Edinburgh:
New standard ‘all day’ timetable to stations in Fife operated by 3-coach class 170 trains
New through service each hour between Borders railway and Fife. Borders railway primarily operated by 3-coach class 170 trains (X% more seats per train)
New half hourly service to Glasgow via Cumbernauld, Stepps and Gartcosh
Current half hourly service to Stirling and Dunblane becomes limited stop rather than all stations, reducing journey times by around 10 minutes


Glasgow:
Four trains per hour service to Cumbernauld with two operating via Falkirk Grahamston through to Edinburgh
Hourly service to Dundee reducing journey times to Stirling, Bridge of Allan and Dunblane


Stirling:
Quicker journeys to / from Glasgow & Edinburgh
A new hourly service connecting Stirling with more trains to Glasgow, Dundee and Gleneagles.


Borders:
Typically 20% more seats on majority of services to Midlothian and the Borders.
Direct hourly connection between Borders Railway and stations in west Edinburgh.
 
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Mag_seven

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What a depressing contrast with big Phil Verster's 'revolution in rail' timetable ambitions. Until February 2020 the rail network in Scotland felt like it was on the up, now it's more like a return to the managed decline of the 1980s.

Well what do you expect when you spend the best part of a year telling prospective passengers to "go away" or put up aggressive signs advising that the railways are for "Essential Travel Only". We are now starting to pay the price of lockdowns.
 

route101

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So does this mean Glasgow Central to Lanark and Edinburgh via Shotts remain 1tph???
Hoping the fast services come back. They came back last year, whats stopping them now?

East Kilbride is hourly in evening, which I cant understand.
 

Highlandspring

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Well what do you expect when you spend the best part of a year telling prospective passengers to "go away" or put up aggressive signs advising that the railways are for "Essential Travel Only". We are now starting to pay the price of lockdowns.
Indeed. Every day (multiple times per day) I hear the recorded station announcement starting “Rail travel is now allowed for non-essential journeys…” and I just roll my eyes. Change the record please ScotRail.
 

kez19

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Indeed. Every day (multiple times per day) I hear the recorded station announcement starting “Rail travel is now allowed for non-essential journeys…” and I just roll my eyes. Change the record please ScotRail.

At least i'll give Scotrail its credit at least they stopped those patronising ads they had running on STV!
 
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What's the cost difference vs running the E&G via Falkirk High at 30mins with long trains vs every 15 or 20mins with shorter ones? Often hear it said that Edinburgh and Glasgow almost need to function as one city region for Scotland's economy, maintaining a metro-esq frequency, reducing fares to fill more seats and replacing ticketing in the Central Belt with a tap and go equivalent of how contactless works with Oyster should help drive modal shift.

With regards to Inter7City HST's on the West Highland Line, this keeps coming from rural / tourism ministers to various groups / business associations etc. It would be transformational in terms of the passenger experience, but what length of HSTs could pass in the loops. Where does a reduction in Scotland wide services leave the recast and increase of West Highland Line services that was supposedly in the pipeline?
 

ScotsRail

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The proposal to not reinstate several hundred train services a day has reached the media today (as the public consultation opens),

Pre Covid they were running 2400 services a day, just now its 2000 and the plan is that from next May it becomes 2100 services a day. Unions claiming that they are using Covid as an excuse to dump less well performing services. Scotrail claiming that the Argyle Line is among the poorest current performers - which isnt a surprise as having been a regular on it for nearly a decade it was always standing room only at peak times because it was a commuter service and with most people working from home I imagine its now empty nearly all day.

The Scotsman has a route by route breakdown available here,

How will I be affected by ScotRail's timetable changes? Route-by-route proposals in full | The Scotsman

This is the one that caught my eye,

Glasgow to Edinburgh via Falkirk Grahamston/Cumbernauld
Service via Cumbernauld will no longer operate in full, “reducing the number of services on this corridor, providing an opportunity for performance to improve”.
Provide one train per hour between Glasgow and Falkirk Grahamston via Stepps until early evening and one train per hour all day between Glasgow and Cumbernauld via Stepps.
Passengers travelling between stations such as Cumbernauld and Edinburgh will be able to change trains at Falkirk Grahamston.

Passengers travelling between Polmont, Linlithgow and Edinburgh will be served by services between Dunblane and Edinburgh and will continue to be served by services between Glasgow and Edinburgh via Falkirk High.
The reduction in the number of services between Edinburgh and Falkirk “is expected to improve performance, along with increasing service occupancy rates and reducing costs”.


Even pre pandemic it was a near empty service anytime I used it - there were a couple of times I was working in Stepps and I was the only person on the train between there and Falkirk of an evening.

And they are also looking at the use of Inter7City trains on the Galsgow/Fort William line when “resources are available”.



(wasn't sure if it should go here or in the Timetable section but its a proposal at the moment and there is a general discussion to be had around post pandemic railways)
 
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kez19

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Seems like to me Glasgow-Aberdeen same

Aberdeen-Edinburgh “reduced” with LNER in between (trains for LNER at Dundee are 0908,1109, 1607 and 1933), I’m surprised actually that the frequency for Edinburgh is in line with Glasgow (Scotrail must not be getting the passengers they once had), seems to me more cuts for us in the North East of Scotland
 

Falcon1200

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If anything it could be seen as an increase, as Lochgelly and Cardenden are currently hourly. And it would open up direct connections to Perth from Fife.

From Dunfermline etc, but at the expense of Kirkcaldy etc !

What a depressing contrast with big Phil Verster's 'revolution in rail' timetable ambitions. Until February 2020 the rail network in Scotland felt like it was on the up, now it's more like a return to the managed decline of the 1980s.

Indeed, the Inter7City network is being dessicated before it is even complete; Glasgow/Aberdeen and Edinburgh/Aberdeen must each be hourly.

Well what do you expect when you spend the best part of a year telling prospective passengers to "go away" or put up aggressive signs advising that the railways are for "Essential Travel Only". We are now starting to pay the price of lockdowns.

Yes, the 'don't you even dare think about travelling by train' messages were bound to have a lasting negative effect.
 
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We will be unveiling plans for the new timetable from May 2022, showing that it is ‘Fit For The Future’. It’s part of a public consultation, as customers return to using Scotland’s Railway.

ScotRail has reviewed the timetable across the whole network to ensure the service meets the needs of customers and the Scottish Government’s aims as Scotland recovers from the pandemic and in the future.

We are proposing a new timetable operating around 2,100 services per weekday as the foundation to encourage a return to public transport following the pandemic. Most customers will find the number of calls at their station and the destinations served are similar to today. However, there are some areas where there is greater change, which is being done for several important reasons.

Our analysis shows prior to the pandemic, on a number of routes across the country, significantly more seats were being provided than were required for the number of passengers travelling. For example, under five and a half million passenger journey miles were completed on a typical weekday, which was just 23 per cent of the available number of seats. In other words, seats were empty for 77 per cent of the distance that was travelled.

Returning to a pre-pandemic timetable would result in trains operating 26 million more vehicle miles each year for little customer benefit. As well as increased emissions, that would increase ScotRail costs to the taxpayer by £30million to £40million each year.

The proposed new timetable will also focus on improved punctuality and reliability of services, building on the record punctuality delivered during the pandemic. Research from Transport Focus has highlighted this is a key priority for customers. The proposed new customer focused timetable will reflect predicted levels of service as well as the need to provide the best value for money for taxpayers. ScotRail said the proposals are a new starting point and in the future, new methods of analysis developed during COVID-19 will refine and improve the service offer as the operator learns more about how customer travel behaviours are changing.

The consultation will be open from 16:00 on 20 August to 1 October to seek opinions on the proposed timetables from our customers and stakeholders.

Link: Fit for the Future

I could not find details of the permanent service reductions - perhaps these will be released when the consultation opens at 16:00 today.
 

ld0595

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If I'm understanding this correctly, this would mean the removal of the full Cathcart Circle services (i.e. Cathcart to Langside) aside from a few peak trains?

Glasgow-Neilston/Newton/Cathcart Circle

Two trains per hour between Glasgow and Neilston with one train per hour in the evening.
Two trains per hour between Glasgow and Newton with one train per hour in the evening, with a limited Cathcart Circle service.
During peak hours, additional services will be provided to or from Neilston and Newton, and on the Cathcart Circle.

While I can understand the rationale behind removing some services, this is very frustrating and seems very much a step backwards compared to the Rail Revolution we were promised in 2016.
 

Falcon1200

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Having had a chance to look at the proposals in more detail, some things stand out:

Glasgow/Aberdeen
'Continue to operate one train per hour, calling at limited stations.'
This seems to be saying that Glasgow/Aberdeen is hourly now..... which it is not !

Cumbernauld/Falkirk/Edinburgh and Stirling/Dunblane
With the former not now running beyond Grahamston, the latter have their Polmont and Linlithgow stops restored; The pre-Covid service pattern, a benefit of electrification, did not last long !

Glasgow/Kilmarnock
Half the service calls all stations between Glasgow Central and Barrhead, so not exactly fast.

Glasgow South Suburban Routes
Evening services are decimated with many reduced to hourly, truly a return to the bad old days of the 1980s.

Hopefully the Scottish Government will step in and reverse some or all of these cuts.... we will have to see.
 
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Currently, the Scottish Greens are in negotiations with the SNP for some arrangement short of an alliance. If I were the leader of the Scottish Greens I would make full restoration of the pre-COVID timetable a condition. Can you image a green party supporting a Government that cuts public transport?
 

James90012

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£40m a year but I'd love to see the calculations. Presumably the fleet size stays the same, unless some units are sent off lease? Presumably staff cost base is the same, albeit with less overtime etc? The rest is fuel and track access which I suppose would add up.

As with others, I think London based TOCs planning for a reduced capacity in the Peak is an appropriate plan but regional and long distance services should recover far quicker post Covid so electing to make cuts now is a brave move and ultimately could suppress the markets. I think this sets a wider context for subsidy TOCs, I dread to think what might come out of Nothern.
 

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