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Temporary timetable introduced on Highland train services amidst ScotRail cuts

By Federica Stefani

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A ScotRail train on the Far North Line at Inverness Railway Station. Picture Gary Anthony.
A ScotRail train on the Far North Line at Inverness Railway Station. Picture Gary Anthony.

ScotRail have announced they will introduce a temporary timetable from tomorrow as pay disputes with rail trade unions have left the company with a shortage of drivers available to operate the standard timetable.

Train commuters are being warned of changes to services on the Highland Mainline, the Far North Line and the Inverness to Aberdeen line.

The new timetable seeks to provide a “more reliable service” for customers according to the train operator, in order to avoid late-notice cancellations.

Over the past of weeks, ScotRail has been in pay discussions with the rail trade unions, ASLEF, RMT, TSSA, and Unite. A formal pay offer was made on Friday, 5 July, however, this was rejected by all four trade unions.

Now, drivers’ union ASLEF has confirmed that it will recommend to its Executive Committee a ballot for industrial action over pay, which has resulted in fewer drivers available for overtime and rest day working.

Mark Ilderton, ScotRail Service Delivery Director, said: “We are very sorry to customers for the disruption to services. We know that customers want certainty and reliability, which is why we are introducing a temporary timetable, in place of late-notice cancellations.

“We are operating services which the vast majority of customers use and are still using all the available trains in our fleet so customers can continue to travel.

“We want to resolve the pay dispute with the trade unions and remain fully committed to further discussions.

“We’re asking customers to check their journey on our website or mobile app, as train times will have changed.”

While the times of first or last trains on more than half of all routes will remain unchanged, there will be changes in the number of services provided during the morning and evening peak times – for example, where there are normally four trains per hour in the peak, this will reduce to a half hourly service, which is the same as the off-peak.

Inverness Train Station Picture: Gary Anthony..
Inverness Train Station Picture: Gary Anthony..

Edinburgh and Glasgow to Inverness

The following services operate on the Highland Mainline:

07:07, 10:07, 15:07, 19:07 Glasgow to Inverness

08:38, 10:32, 13:32, 17:33, 19:34 Edinburgh to Inverness

05:36, 06:38, 08:41, 09:42, 14:50, 15:44, 17:26, 20:22 Inverness to Glasgow

10:50, 12:48, 18:52 Inverness to Edinburgh

Aberdeen to Inverness

The following services operate between Aberdeen and Inverness (see elsewhere for services between Aberdeen and Inverurie):

06:14, 07:18, 08:23, 10:08, 11:57, 13:41, 15:50, 17:25, 18:15, 20:18, 22:00 Aberdeen to Inverness

07:18, 20:24 Elgin to Inverness

05:49, 06:59, 08:56, 10:56, 12:39, 14:28, 15:35, 17:20, 18:01, 21:30 Inverness to Aberdeen

18:56, 22:15 Inverness to Elgin

07:47 Huntly to Aberdeen

Some services continue beyond Aberdeen.

Far North Line

The following services will operate on the Far North Line:

07:00, 14:00, 18.31 Inverness to Wick

10:56, 17:52 Inverness to Kyle of Lochalsh

17:12 Inverness to Ardgay

21:29 Inverness to Tain

06:18, 12:34 Wick to Inverness

06:11, 13:46 Kyle of Lochalsh to Inverness

19:29 Ardgay to Inverness

06:26 Lairg to Inverness

22:45 Tain to Inverness

ScotRail is working on plans to support upcoming major events, including The Open at Royal Troon, and will update customers in the coming days.

Customers are strongly advised to check their journey before travelling by using the ScotRail website or app. These systems are due to be updated by around 22.00 this evening.

Timetables for weekend travel are due to be in systems on Thursday evening and refunds are available to customers for booked journeys which are affected by the temporary timetable with no additional admin fee. Alternatively, ScotRail customers can use their tickets to travel on an alternative service, or the day before or two days after their planned journey.

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