A new timetable offering hourly trains from Invergowrie to Perth was littered with ‘unacceptable’ cancellations on the first day of use.
Trains will run on time, starting in Glasgow Queen Street and stopping in Dundee, but drivers from the ASLEF union have gone on strike to pay and service across the country has suffered from several canceled trains.
Transport Minister Jenny Gilruth said the shortage of drivers was causing “significant disruption” across the network.
Scotrail apologized, saying: ‘It’s something all operators across Britain experience.
Just the day before, Cllr Alasdair Bailey from Carse of Gowrie celebrated the arrival of a regular stop at Invergowrie: “It’s wonderful to see trains stopping every hour at Invergowrie again. It’s fantastic for anyone in Invergowrie who needs to get to Dundee or Perth because the train is much faster than the car at six minutes from Dundee and 18 minutes from Perth.
“Also trains continue direct to Glasgow and Stirling which will be great for outings and work.”
Cllr Bailey circulated the new schedule to his social media followers on Sunday – the day before the changes.
But soon after the schedule was posted for viewing online, it became clear that not all services would be running on Monday May 16.
Within minutes a response arrived from a frustrated local traveller, complaining that two trains from Perth to Invergowrie were not running.
ScotRail, which was nationalized last month, has apologized to customers for the disruption.
Last weekend’s driver shortages affected 110 services.
David Simpson, ScotRail’s Director of Service Delivery, said: “We are experiencing a driver shortage which means some services will be cancelled.
“We are truly sorry for the disruption and inconvenience this will cause and understand customer frustration when this happens.
“If you are traveling on the ScotRail network, please check your journey before you travel by downloading the ScotRail app or visiting scotrail.co.uk”
Mr Simpson went on to explain the situation: “Unfortunately since the drivers union ASLEF announced that they would be voting to strike, a significant number, but not all, of the drivers have refused to make themselves available for overtime. or rest days.
“Although rest day work is completely voluntary, it means we don’t have the number of drivers available to operate the full schedule.
“We are currently reliant on drivers working overtime or on their days off due to delays in training new drivers caused by the pandemic. This is something all operators across Britain are familiar with.
MSP Liz Smith added: “There are clearly very serious issues here and it’s no wonder the public are so upset about the cancellations.
“Efficient rail services are not only important for improving connectivity, but also for ensuring that more of us are tempted to leave our cars at home to promote a greener option.
“It’s just unacceptable for this to happen.”
The delayed service yesterday saw both the 9.08am departure from Glasgow Queen Street in Dundee and the 11.11am, also from Glasgow, canceled in the morning.
The 9.08am service from Glasgow should have left Perth at 10.21am and arrived in Invergowrie at 10.38am, but passengers had to make new plans as no trains were arriving.
The second missing service via Perthshire, on 11.11am, should have reached Perth at 12.22pm and arrived in Invergowrie at 12.40pm, but again customers had to seek other travel options.
Later yesterday the 2.41pm and 7.44pm trains from Invergowrie to Dundee were also canceled with the shortage of drivers blamed on the operator.
Infuriating travelers in the other direction, the reverse route from Invergowrie to Perth had two scheduled services missing yesterday, the first day of the new timetable.
And the 11.21am train from Dundee to Glasgow has been cancelled, as has the 3.15pm train, giving commuters in Perthshire headaches. These new timetable trains to/from Invergowrie start tomorrow (Monday). I put a comment on the news below and am also happy to round up some locals for a photo one day this week so helpful. However, previous photos might suffice (I think the AP covered the announcement of these new trains late last summer).
“It’s wonderful to see trains pass through Invergowrie every hour again. It’s fantastic for anyone in Invergowrie who needs to travel to Dundee or Perth as the train is much faster than the car, at 6 minutes from Dundee and 18 minutes from Perth, plus trains continue direct to Glasgow and Stirling, perfect for day trips and work!
Hopefully this is the start of a railway renaissance for Invergowrie. If people use this train as much as I think they will, it secures the future of Invergowrie station in the long term.
I was also happy to learn that there are plans underway to electrify the line in the coming years, which will mean faster but quieter trains will arrive in the not too distant future.”