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Anger as rail passengers asked to get off busy Highland train

By Val Sweeney

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Some rail passengers were asked to get off the crowded Inverness to Ardgay train before it set off. Picture: DGS.
Some rail passengers were asked to get off the crowded Inverness to Ardgay train before it set off. Picture: DGS.

Rail users have reacted angrily after some passengers were asked to get off an overcrowded teatime train before it set off from Inverness.

The incident happened yesterday on the 5.12pm service for Ardgay which is popular with commuters living north of Inverness in communities such as Beauly, Muir of Ord and Dingwall.

It has sparked claims that tourists were given priority over locals.

Passenger numbers were much higher than usual yesterday on the two-carriage train with an additional 160 customers from a cruise ship at Invergordon.

As a result, some rail passengers were asked to get off and travel on the later 5.54pm Inverness to Kyle of Lochalsh service.

One regular commuter, who was among about 13 standing passengers squeezed into a corridor area near the doors, said the train was full as it waited to leave the platform.

"The conductor came round and asked us to get off," he said.

Another regular rail passenger felt tourists had been given priority over local people.

"I feel it is all about the tourists," she said.

"What about the people who live and work here and want to get home at the end of the working day?"

Phil Campbell, ScotRail's head of customer operations, said: "We know that one of the biggest concerns for our customers is busy trains, and we are sorry to any customer who experienced disruption and overcrowding on their journey home.

"Some customers were asked to travel on a later service, and we know this is a significant inconvenience for those involved.

"This was an isolated incident and we will continue to work hard to deliver the level of service our customers expect."

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