PASSENGERS travelling from Queen Street station in Glasgow are being urged to turn up at least ten minutes early from tomorrow at the start of Scotland’s biggest rail disruption for decades.
Separate queuing systems will operate on either side of the station at busy times for those heading east and west.
This is because trains will be diverted from the main station to two below-ground platforms until 8 August during track upgrading on the main access tunnel.
Longer-distance trains, such as those to and from Aberdeen and Inverness, will be switched to Glasgow Central.
Journeys on all services will take up to an extra 25 minutes because trains will have to take longer, circular routes round Glasgow to reach the low-level platforms.
Queen Street is Scotland’s third busiest station, handling 20 million passengers a year.
Travellers will have to queue because there will be insufficient space for them to wait on the platforms until just before their train arrives.
A temporary building has been built over the taxi rank on the west side of the station to accommodate them, with a canopy erected on the east side to keep queues there dry.
Passengers will queue on the west side – Dundas Street – for the Edinburgh main line, and another via Airdrie and Bathgate, and for Croy, Cumbernauld, Springburn, Oban, Fort William and some evening peak services to Lenzie.
Queues on the east side – North Hanover Street – will be for Bishopbriggs, Stirling, Dunblane, Alloa, Perth, Balloch, Milngavie, Helensburgh, Anniesland and most services to Lenzie.
Extra staff will be deployed at other city centre stations in case many passengers decide to use them instead.
The ScotRail Alliance, which includes Network Rail, said surveys showed 80 per cent of regular passengers were aware.
It said it had also taken measures to disperse fumes from the diverted diesel trains using the enclosed lower platforms.
Passenger watchdog Transport Focus said ScotRail must build on its good work so far in informing travellers.
Manager Robert Samson said: “If the rail industry is to retain the confidence and trust of its passengers, it is vital ScotRail takes full account of their needs during the disruption. Our research tells us passengers want to be told clearly, early and often how engineer work will affect them.
“ScotRail has been keeping passengers informed through its website and social media, leaflets at stations and announcements on trains. We are pleased to see this proactive approach.”