ScotRail passengers warned major disruption after train derailment could continue until Tuesday

Significant disruption to ScotRail that has seen hundreds of trains cancelled this weekend could continue until Tuesday, rail chiefs have warned.

Engineers are still working to remove a train which derailed in Coatbridge on Friday night and repair track damage, while some drivers are refusing to work overtime after rejecting a pay offer.

The twin disruption forced the cancellation or amendment of more than 230 trains on Sunday – one in five services – including on many lines from Edinburgh and Glasgow.

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Around 120 of these were caused by the derailment and 110 by a shortage of drivers.

It is thought that more than 100 services were also halted on Saturday after a train that was not in service came off the tracks on the Glasgow-Bathgate-Edinburgh line around 9.30pm on Friday.

An emergency timetable has been introduced for services on the line and those to and from Balloch, Helensburgh and Milngavie, with trains curtailed to hourly.

No trains are running between Shettleston in Glasgow and Bathgate, with replacement buses serving the affected stations.

It means only a skeleton service running across Glasgow on Sunday because the Argyle line – the city’s other east-west route – will not re-open after weeks of engineering work until Monday.

Network Rail said two sets of points would have to be replaced before the line could be reopened. Picture: Lisa FergusonNetwork Rail said two sets of points would have to be replaced before the line could be reopened. Picture: Lisa Ferguson
Network Rail said two sets of points would have to be replaced before the line could be reopened. Picture: Lisa Ferguson

A ScotRail spokesperson said: “North Clyde line services are cancelled with the exception of an hourly service on the following: Helensburgh-Shettleston, Balloch-Springburn, Milngavie-Anniesland and Bathgate-Edinburgh.”

Network Rail said on Sunday the line through Coatbridge was expected to remain shut for “several days” and there was a “good chance” the work would extend into Tuesday.

A spokesperson said the six-carriage train would have to be re-railed, two sets of points replaced and damage repaired to the track and sleepers.

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The drivers’ action over overtime, on which ScotRail’s Sunday services depend, follows their union Aslef rejecting a “derisory” 2.2 per cent pay offer last week and threatening a strike ballot.

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Emergency timetable as ScotRail cancels hundreds of trains due to Coatbridge der...

ScotRail said it expected cancellations from the shortage of available drivers to continue this week, but there were likely to be far fewer than on Sunday.

Cancellations include on Edinburgh to Glasgow via Falkirk High, Aberdeen, Glenrothes, Inverness, Dunblane, North Berwick and Tweedbank.

Some services have also been halted from Glasgow to Alloa, Ayr, Cumbernauld, East Kilbride, Lanark, Largs, Paisley Canal and Shotts.

ScotRail service delivery director David Simpson said: “We’re sorry to customers who are experiencing disruption to their journey.

"We are expecting a driver shortage over the coming days, which means some services will be cancelled.

"We are reliant on drivers working overtime – known as rest day working – because of delays to training new drivers caused by the pandemic.

"Unfortunately, since the drivers’ union Aslef announced its intention to recommend a ballot for strike action, a significant number of drivers have declined to make themselves available for overtime/rest day working.”

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An Aslef spokesperson said: “We remain available for further talks whenever the Scottish Government sanction serious negotiations.

"The lack of drivers is down to poor and successive failures by those who run Scotland’s railways.

"The Scottish people deserve better – a fully funded and staffed railway without the need to force staff to work overtime to keep the railway running.”