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ScotRail brings back more later trains amid hopes of resolution to pay dispute

Commuters and travellers at Edinburgh’s Waverley Station (PA)
Commuters and travellers at Edinburgh’s Waverley Station (PA)

ScotRail is to run more later trains as hopes rise for a resolution to a pay dispute with drivers which saw the state-owned railway cut hundreds of services.

Some 700 services disappeared from the newly-nationalised operator on May 23 as members of the Aslef union refused to work rest days and ScotRail introduced a temporary timetable for its network.

The disruption crippled railways north of the border, with football fans forced to leave the Scotland v Armenia game before the final whistle to catch the last train, commuters stranded, and communities cut off.

But from Monday, ScotRail will reintroduce services on some routes, a move which will see the last train home for many leave later.

David Simpson, ScotRail’s service delivery director, said the firm had “listened to the feedback from customers and businesses and have acted”.

He added: “The temporary timetable is providing customers with greater certainty and reliability as we seek to reach agreement with Aslef.”

Under the first version of ScotRail’s temporary timetable, the last train from Edinburgh to Glasgow left at 10.15pm instead of 11.45pm.

The last service from Glasgow to Stirling left at 7.49pm, and to get from Glasgow to Aberdeen travellers had to head to the station for 6.41pm instead of 9.40pm.

But on May 28, days after ScotRail introduced the service change, it began to reintroduce additional late evening trains on Fridays and Saturdays.

The latest announcement will mean late services return Monday to Saturday.

Later trains will run between Glasgow Central and Ayr, Gourock, East Kilbride and Neilston, ScotRail said.

From Glasgow Queen Street, later services between Stirling and Edinburgh Waverly will be restored.

From Edinburgh Waverly, later trains will be running between North Berwick, Kirkcaldy, Dunfermline, and Stirling.

New Scotrail timetable
Commuters and travellers at Edinburgh Waverly (Jane Barlow/PA)

The reintroduction of some services means those wanting to get from Glasgow Queen Street to Edinburgh can get a 11.45pm train, and those travelling in the other direction can get the 11.46pm service.

Those travelling from Glasgow Central to Gourock can get the 11.24pm service, while those going in the opposite direction can catch the 11.24pm train.

The Aberdeen to Inverurie service will also see later trains reintroduced, and ScotRail said it is reviewing changes it can make to rural services in Inverness.

Mr Simpson said: “While running a temporary timetable is frustrating, it’s encouraging that we have made progress with driver pay talks, and I’m pleased we can extend the use of late-night services for customers.”

The move comes just a day after Aslef recommend drivers back a new pay offer from ScotRail, a company owned by the Scottish Government.

The offer will see pay increase by 5%, along with more money for rest day and Sunday working, driving instructor and maternity pay, plus a policy of no compulsory redundancies for the next five years.