NEARLY 150 ScotRail trains a day will run with fewer than normal carriages during the Commonwealth Games to provide more seats for spectators heading to venues in Glasgow, the train operator announced today.
Affected passengers who are not heading to events were urged to consider taking a different train.
Shorter trains will even run on eight lines into Glasgow, even though they are likely to be used by event ticket holders.
ScotRail warned passengers: “All services coming in and out of Glasgow are expected to be busier than usual.”
The changes are part of ScotRail’s biggest ever timetable, from 21 July to 3 August, when it expects to carry an extra one million passengers.
The Edinburgh to North Berwick and Dunbar lines will be the worst hit of the 12 routes affected.
Commuters are faced with fewer seats and journeys taking up to three minutes longer.
This is because four-coach electric trains on the lines will be replaced with older, three-coach diesels for two weeks, which have 99 fewer seats, and have poorer acceleration.
Other routes to be affected include Edinburgh to Glenrothes and Dunblane, where up to 17 trains a day each will be shorter than normal.
Some trains will also be shortened on routes between Glasgow and Ayr, Gourock, Largs, Ardrossan, Paisley Canal, East Kilbride and Neilston, and on a secondary Glasgow-Edinburgh route via Shotts.
ScotRail said the carriages were needed to run more trains within Glasgow “to ensure enough are available within the city to meet visitors’ demands”.
It will double the number of carriages on trains between Glasgow Central and Mount Florida for Hampden Park, where athletics events will be held.
Trains on a cross-city line via Queen Street will be more than doubled in length between Scotstounhill, near Scotstoun Stadium in the west, and Carntyne, near Tollcross International Swimming Centre in the east.
Services on the main Edinburgh-Glasgow line will be doubled to every 15 minutes in the evenings, with many of them twice as long as normal.
There will also be more carriages on another route between the cities, via Bathgate and Airdrie.
Later trains will also run, some after 1am.
ScotRail stressed the “vast majority” of its trains would operate as normal during the games.
ScotRail Commonwealth Games project manager Andy Miller said: “We appreciate the understanding of our customers who will see a reduction in carriages on a small number of services for a fortnight this summer.
“This is an essential element of a special timetable which uses all our carriages where and when they will be most needed during the biggest multi-sport event that Scotland has hosted.”
Michael Renshaw, director of transport and logistics for Glasgow 2014, urged non-games travellers to plan ahead, using Get Ready Glasgow website.
He said: “If you use any of the services with reduced carriages, it is worth considering whether you could re-time your journey during the events.”
Hugh Gillies, head of the Scottish Government agency Transport Scotland’s 2014 team, said: “This amended timetable will enable us to welcome the world by offering the most extensive rail services the city has ever seen.
“While this means a limited number of trains will run with less coaches, the patience and understanding of affected passengers will go a long way towards a successful Games.”