West Lothian buses

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LiviCrazy

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6 Oct 2018
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I’ll be using it tomorrow at around 6pm so can report back then
Picked up a couple going to Livingston yesterday on the journey home plus quite a few at the usual Heriot Watt stop. Nobody has used it yet for going into town.

On a related note, putting it along the A71 from top of Langton Road is proving a bit of a problem at peak time. It was actually faster going through Kirknewton.
 
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Cartaker

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12 Aug 2019
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I have noticed this month that some of my former train travelling buddies have given up on their annual train season ticket and have started to use the EX2 AND X38. According to 1 she hopes to stick with the buses for a month to see if it is a worthwhile service. If so, she recons to save a few hundred quid a year.
 
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I have noticed this month that some of my former train travelling buddies have given up on their annual train season ticket and have started to use the EX2 AND X38. According to 1 she hopes to stick with the buses for a month to see if it is a worthwhile service. If so, she recons to save a few hundred quid a year.
Well depending on how she uses it to commute the fare change will certainly make it easier between the Ex2 and X38 for the dayticket!

I was tempted to check out both services and even buy a dayticket for it since I understand Ridacards still aren’t valid on the Ex2
 

Stopper

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I have noticed this month that some of my former train travelling buddies have given up on their annual train season ticket and have started to use the EX2 AND X38. According to 1 she hopes to stick with the buses for a month to see if it is a worthwhile service. If so, she recons to save a few hundred quid a year.
despite heating and some daytime reliability problems I have done the same. I will never go back to ScotRail’s shambolic underserved overcrowded Linlithgow ‘service’. The EX2 is much better.
 

smtglasgow

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Does the Train not do it in less than half the time the bus does?
This is going to be the clincher for most commuters. The trains were terrible for a while, but they’ve settled down a lot now that the new trains are all delivered and Newbridge Junction seems to be behaving itself a lot better than it was. For some the EX2 is going to work – if money is tight you’ll appreciate the savings and if you work at Gogar it’s the obvious choice. But if you value your time the train is always going to win. The traffic in and out of Edinburgh is so variable that the EX2 journey times are going to vary wildly from day to day. Off-peak is different, and I’m sure the bus will get steadily busier. I guess a lot depends on where you live in Linlithgow. A colleague of mine lives within easy walking distance of the station and simply won’t consider the EX2 – she knows how much she’ll save, but wants to get back to her kids at a decent time in the evening.
 

Journeyman

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The journey time is a big deal for many, but the EX2 is faster than the X38, and it may be that it's now fast enough for some rail users to consider. For those living in Springfield and/or working in Gogar, it's a no-brainer because of the new direct travel opportunity.
 

TheGrandWazoo

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This is going to be the clincher for most commuters. The trains were terrible for a while, but they’ve settled down a lot now that the new trains are all delivered and Newbridge Junction seems to be behaving itself a lot better than it was. For some the EX2 is going to work – if money is tight you’ll appreciate the savings and if you work at Gogar it’s the obvious choice. But if you value your time the train is always going to win. The traffic in and out of Edinburgh is so variable that the EX2 journey times are going to vary wildly from day to day. Off-peak is different, and I’m sure the bus will get steadily busier. I guess a lot depends on where you live in Linlithgow. A colleague of mine lives within easy walking distance of the station and simply won’t consider the EX2 – she knows how much she’ll save, but wants to get back to her kids at a decent time in the evening.
THIS is spot on, and not just in this particular instance.

Many bus enthusiasts fail to see how people who elect to choose the train when there's a cheaper bus alternative. However, it all depends on
  1. Level of cost variance
  2. Relative speed/convenience on a comparable journey
  3. Bus to provide links that the train cannot
  4. Reliability (of either mode to turn up and drop you where and when you want)
3 is very much in play with the RBS campus. However, if you live in central Linlithgow and work in the centre of Edinburgh, then for the most part, the train will win unless 4 intervenes. Live in Springfield - different calculation.
 

Stopper

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I live in Linlithgow Bridge and the EX2 will always win for me. The train just ran out of chances, it was unreliable, overcrowded and a total rip off for close to 10 years. We were constantly promised improvements that have never come, and to be honest I value a seat, price, and no weekly shenanigans over journey time.
 

overthewater

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Once the Winchburgh train station opens that will add an extra stop and more passengers.

We still have no word about the new WLC tenders.
 

Colin M

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I live in Linlithgow Bridge and the EX2 will always win for me. The train just ran out of chances, it was unreliable, overcrowded and a total rip off for close to 10 years. We were constantly promised improvements that have never come, and to be honest I value a seat, price, and no weekly shenanigans over journey time.
Electrifications, 8 car trains instead of 3 or 6 car diesel units, faster journey times.....I'd call those improvements. You need to remember that A LOT of work had to be done just so they could electrify the line as it was designed and built in the days of steam and in most parts, there was only just enough clearance to fit a diesel unit through without a bunch of wires on top of that.
 

Stopper

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Electrifications, 8 car trains instead of 3 or 6 car diesel units, faster journey times.....I'd call those improvements. You need to remember that A LOT of work had to be done just so they could electrify the line as it was designed and built in the days of steam and in most parts, there was only just enough clearance to fit a diesel unit through without a bunch of wires on top of that.
they improved it but they didn’t improve it enough.

For example if I have a train with 50 people on it, but only 25 seats. If I increased the number of seats to 35, that would be an improvement, but not enough of an improvement.

Unreliability and reduced westbound services have plighted Linlithgow too. It’s completely unsurprising why so many people use the EX2 now.
 

Colin M

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they improved it but they didn’t improve it enough.

For example if I have a train with 50 people on it, but only 25 seats. If I increased the number of seats to 35, that would be an improvement, but not enough of an improvement.

Unreliability and reduced westbound services have plighted Linlithgow too. It’s completely unsurprising why so many people use the EX2 now.
IIRC Linlithgow gets 4 trains per hour to Glasgow all running as 8 cars. You do realise that there is only so much space on railway lines and therefore they can just flood the line with trains as if they did nothing would move.
 

Stopper

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IIRC Linlithgow gets 4 trains per hour to Glasgow all running as 8 cars. You do realise that there is only so much space on railway lines and therefore they can just flood the line with trains as if they did nothing would move.
you are incorrect. It gets 2 trains per hour to Glasgow as 8 cars, and 2 3 or 4 car long services to Glasgow via Cumbernauld, which aren’t used by Glasgow travellers (or anyone?).

EX2 is clearly offering something that the railway is not.
 

Jordan Adam

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I fail to see what the EX2 offers that the railway doesn't tbh... Although it's pretty evident by some postings on this thread that some people think the EX2 is the best thing since sliced bread. :lol:
 

Colin M

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you are incorrect. It gets 2 trains per hour to Glasgow as 8 cars, and 2 3 or 4 car long services to Glasgow via Cumbernauld, which aren’t used by Glasgow travellers (or anyone?).

EX2 is clearly offering something that the railway is not.
The amount of cars is irrelevant anyway, it's still 4 trains per hour to Glasgow from Edinburgh regardless. The new trains accelerate faster than the diesel units they replaced. As I said, there are only so many paths on the line meaning they can't just add extra services willy nilly just to suit you. Linlithgow isn't exactly the centre of the earth and for a town, that size, 4 trains per hour is pretty acceptable.
 

TheGrandWazoo

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other than RBS gogar i cant think of anything else
If you work in Gogar, it makes sense. If you live in Springfield, then a direct bus is easier than the faff of having to get to the station and then the train. That all makes sense.

The reliability may be a concern too but otherwise the main part of Linlithgow should be best served by the train.
 
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The amount of cars is irrelevant anyway, it's still 4 trains per hour to Glasgow from Edinburgh regardless. The new trains accelerate faster than the diesel units they replaced. As I said, there are only so many paths on the line meaning they can't just add extra services willy nilly just to suit you. Linlithgow isn't exactly the centre of the earth and for a town, that size, 4 trains per hour is pretty acceptable.
I think that's precisely the point this person was making. It isn't possible to tailor the rail service to suit the needs of some people living in the Linlithgow area. But it can be done easier using buses that are kept in a nearby depot. Therefore their argument is that a market exists for the EX2 bus service, regardless of the fact that its route goes between some railway stations at slower point-to-point timings.
 

Colin M

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I think that's precisely the point this person was making. It isn't possible to tailor the rail service to suit the needs of some people living in the Linlithgow area. But it can be done easier using buses that are kept in a nearby depot. Therefore their argument is that a market exists for the EX2 bus service, regardless of the fact that its route goes between some railway stations at slower point-to-point timings.
My response to his post was regarding his claim that there hadn't been any improvements to the rail services at Linlithgow when there clearly has been, new, longer trains, electrification etc. At no point did I say there wasn't a market for the EX2.
 

herb21

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THIS is spot on, and not just in this particular instance.

Many bus enthusiasts fail to see how people who elect to choose the train when there's a cheaper bus alternative. However, it all depends on
  1. Level of cost variance
  2. Relative speed/convenience on a comparable journey
  3. Bus to provide links that the train cannot
  4. Reliability (of either mode to turn up and drop you where and when you want)
3 is very much in play with the RBS campus. However, if you live in central Linlithgow and work in the centre of Edinburgh, then for the most part, the train will win unless 4 intervenes. Live in Springfield - different calculation.
I think crowding is also key & Distance to your stops (that is probably covered by point 2) I (and a lot of others) take the 43 from South Queensferry rather than the train from Dalmeny. The cost saving is nice, but its probably the fact that I get a seat, and the stop is 2min from my house that clinch it. The station is a 10min walk, I don't mind the walk, but I find you need to then leave 15min early in case you dwadle or get held up, and if the train is delayed you can be waiting a decent while. If the bus is delayed I can leave the house later, cause it's so close.
 

TheGrandWazoo

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I think crowding is also key & Distance to your stops (that is probably covered by point 2) I (and a lot of others) take the 43 from South Queensferry rather than the train from Dalmeny. The cost saving is nice, but its probably the fact that I get a seat, and the stop is 2min from my house that clinch it. The station is a 10min walk, I don't mind the walk, but I find you need to then leave 15min early in case you dwadle or get held up, and if the train is delayed you can be waiting a decent while. If the bus is delayed I can leave the house later, cause it's so close.
Exactly point 2. Convenience and journey time (door to door) means it works for you. Where a direct comparison exists, the train usually wins. The bus usually has to have a USP, like serving Springfield.

I’m a little surprised that there’s enough from that area and the Bridge (plus the odd one from the centre), or trade to Gogar, to sustain a service.
 

Stopper

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The amount of cars is irrelevant anyway, it's still 4 trains per hour to Glasgow from Edinburgh regardless. The new trains accelerate faster than the diesel units they replaced. As I said, there are only so many paths on the line meaning they can't just add extra services willy nilly just to suit you. Linlithgow isn't exactly the centre of the earth and for a town, that size, 4 trains per hour is pretty acceptable.
What an abomination of a post.

The amount of cars a train has is absolutely not irrelevant. I also never said their hadn’t been improvements, just that the improvements were not enough. Linlithgow has not seen a frequency increase in either direction, but has seen 2tph of its westbound service downgraded. It already has terrible overcrowding with 4tph into Edinburgh and the modest increase in capacity hasn’t proved enough. Therefore it’s quite easy to see why a lot of passengers are switching to the EX2.

The train really should have 100% of all passengers, but horrendous timetabling, poor reliability and overcrowding has put people off.
 

GregA

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The train really should have 100% of all passengers, but horrendous timetabling, poor reliability and overcrowding has put people off.
Why "should" the train have 100% of passengers?

Linlithgow has not seen a frequency increase in either direction, but has seen 2tph of its westbound service downgraded.
Linlithgow is on a (relatively) high-speed line which already carries up to nine trains an hour, where do you suggest the extra calls come from? If you say the other Express services then that's to the detriment of Croy and Falkirk High passengers, if you say the Stirling services then that's to the detriment of Dunblane, Stirling and Falkirk Grahamston passengers. These stations all get fewer calls and/or carriages than Linlithgow to start with so why should Linlithgow get additional calls beyond what it already has?

The westbound service has been "downgraded" so that two of the nine eastbound services have more capacity when they arrive, as they are no longer full of Stirling passengers. Passengers travelling from Linlithgow to stations to Dunblane only have to change trains once, it's a same-platform change and it's only a 7-8 minute wait.

It already has terrible overcrowding with 4tph into Edinburgh...
Does it have "terrible overcrowding" all day, or just for the few hours a day during the peak? I find it hard to believe that a station being served by, at a minimum, 22 carriages an hour (assuming 2x 8 car each plus 2x at least 3 car each), would experience overcrowding at say mid afternoon.

EDIT: Apologies for going off-topic, I posted this and *then* realized that this is the Bus thread, oops :s
 
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Stopper

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Why "should" the train have 100% of passengers?


Linlithgow is on a (relatively) high-speed line which already carries up to nine trains an hour, where do you suggest the extra calls come from? If you say the other Express services then that's to the detriment of Croy and Falkirk High passengers, if you say the Stirling services then that's to the detriment of Dunblane, Stirling and Falkirk Grahamston passengers. These stations all get fewer calls and/or carriages than Linlithgow to start with so why should Linlithgow get additional calls beyond what it already has?

The westbound service has been "downgraded" so that two of the nine eastbound services have more capacity when they arrive, as they are no longer full of Stirling passengers. Passengers travelling from Linlithgow to stations to Dunblane only have to change trains once, it's a same-platform change and it's only a 7-8 minute wait.


Does it have "terrible overcrowding" all day, or just for the few hours a day during the peak? I find it hard to believe that a station being served by, at a minimum, 22 carriages an hour (assuming 2x 8 car each plus 2x at least 3 car each), would experience overcrowding at say mid afternoon.

EDIT: Apologies for going off-topic, I posted this and *then* realized that this is the Bus thread, oops :s
The train has all the potential to have 100% of the passengers, but this has been blown by ScotRail for the reasons I said. Nobody has said Linlithgow should get calls that other stations shouldn’t, but it is a station with well over a million passengers (in the top 20 in Scotland) that suffers from terrible peak overcrowding. Yes, peak, aka when it matters, I’m not sure why you’re trying to be smart with the off-peak stuff. You can waffle all you want about 7-8 minute waits but the facts are the Westbound service has been downgraded. There also isn’t 9 trains an hour, there is 8, 4 of which stops at Linlithgow, but agendas etc. All of these factors add up, and it’s part of the reason why the EX2 has been so successful. People are fed up of ScotRail.

Quite often with "overcrowded" trains if you move in to another carriage you'll find it half empty...
And with trains at Linlithgow I think you’ll find this absolutely isn’t the case.
 

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