RUSH-HOUR trains on all four lines between Edinburgh and Glasgow may be so crowded during disruption this summer that some commuters will be unable to board, ScotRail warned today.
The train operator told passengers: “You may not be able to get on the first train you aim to catch. Please allow extra time for your journey.”
Travellers will be switched to alternative routes when direct trains on the main line are halted for six weeks while a tunnel is shut for electrification work.
Passengers who travel on the busiest and fastest route via Falkirk will be urged to use the slower lines via Airdrie, Shotts or Motherwell instead - or face having to change at Linlithgow.
However, they may struggle to board trains on these other routes, which also have no catering - and some no wi-fi - unlike on the main line.
The disruption lasts from Saturday, 13 June to Monday, 27 July during work to lower tracks in the Winchburgh tunnel near Linlithgow to create space for overhead electric wires.
It is part of the £742 million Edinburgh Glasgow Improvement programme for quicker journeys on longer electric trains by 2019.
Among other changes during the work, trains on the main Falkirk line will be cut from every 15 minutes to half-hourly.
Most trains on the three other Edinburgh-Glasgow routes take 50 per cent longer or more.
Direct trains between Dunblane, Stirling and Edinburgh will continue to run, but also take around 25 minutes longer - one third more than the normal journeys of just over one hour.
In addition, trains between Edinburgh and Fife may also be slower because they will have to share the line south of the Forth Bridge and Edinburgh with diverted Dunblane services.
There will be additional disruption at weekends during the work period affecting several lines.
A ScotRail spokeswoman said: “Customers who normally travel at peak times on routes between Edinburgh and Glasgow - via Airdrie, Shotts or Motherwell - will experience much busier trains during the tunnel closure, as a result of people switching from their normal route via Falkirk High.
“We are running more services in the evenings, and are adding carriages where possible, but even with these measures, at the busiest times people may not be able to board the first train they go for.
“We will have extra staff at key stations to assist customers and will be monitoring passenger flows very carefully.”
SCOTSMAN TABLET AND MOBILE APPS