ScotRail announce temporary timetable changes following spike in COVID-related staff absences

ScotRail will make temporary changes to train schedules from next week given a large number of staff absences due to Covid-19.

The changes will mostly affect services across the Central Belt, and will start from Tuesday, 4 January 2022. 

Services between Edinburgh and Glasgow, Dunbar, North Berwick and Fife are among those affected.

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ScotRail said that, when possible, the revisions will be spread out across the day to minimise the impact on customers’ journeys.

The temporary timetable will operate every Monday to Friday until Tuesday, 28 January 2022. 

ScotRail has cancelled and amended a number of services over recent weeks due to a spike of COVID-related absences among their staff.

Some have tested positive for the virus, while others are waiting for a PCR test result or self-isolating given contact with a confirmed case.

The rail operator have said they will continue to review staff absence levels over the coming weeks. 

Scotrail have announced they will make temporary timetable changes to give customers 'some certainty', while the rail operator deals with the continued impact of coronavirus on services. (Picture: Jeff J Mitchell/Getty Images)

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David Simpson, ScotRail Operations Director, said: “Like most businesses, ScotRail is not immune to the impact of coronavirus. We’ve been working flat out to run a safe and reliable railway in really difficult and rapidly changing circumstances. 

 “As we continue to battle against the impact of coronavirus, we want to provide customers with a level of certainty, which is why we are introducing some temporary changes to our timetable from Tuesday, 4 January until Tuesday, 28 January 2022. 

 ”We’ve looked to spread these changes out across the day where possible to minimise the impact on our customers, but people should plan ahead and continue to check the train times right up until they arrive at the station. 

 “We urge anyone travelling with us to stay safe and continue to follow government guidance. This includes maintaining good hand hygiene and wearing a face covering for your entire journey.” 

 Robert Samson, Transport Focus Senior Stakeholder Manager at ScotRail, said: “It’s better for some services to be temporarily withdrawn on a planned basis than to have chaotic last-minute cancellations as these are harder for passengers to deal with.

“Passengers need clear, reliable information to plan their journeys and a timetable that is dependable. These temporary changes to the timetable should deliver an increased level of certainty for passengers.”

Other rail operators, including TransPennine Express, Avanti West Coast, Northern Rail, LNER and Greater Anglia, have also reported an impact on services due to a lack of available staff.

ScotRail have asked customers to check which services are affected by the changes before travelling, and reminded them that there may be alterations to the scheduled stops of some services. 

Routes affected by the timetable revision include: 

Glasgow Central – Neilston / Newton

Glasgow Central - East Kilbride

Glasgow Central - Lanark 

Glasgow Central – Ayrshire / Inverclyde / Stranraer 

Glasgow Central – Edinburgh Waverley via Shotts

Glasgow Queen Street – Edinburgh Waverley via Airdrie & Bathgate

Glasgow Queen Street – Edinburgh Waverley via Cumbernauld & Falkirk Grahamston 

Glasgow Queen Street / Edinburgh Waverley – Stirling / Dunblane / Alloa 

Glasgow Queen Street – Anniesland via Maryhill 

Edinburgh Waverley – Dunbar / North Berwick 

Edinburgh Waverley – Fife 

Edinburgh Waverley – Newcraighall / Tweedbank 

A full list of the changes can be found on the ScotRail website.

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