MANY trains in Scotland are being cancelled because of a shortage of drivers. Some trains are also short-formed at the moment.
The drivers who cannot work their normal duties are being trained to drive the new Hitachi Class 385 units which were late coming into service because oif various problems. These included windscreens which distorted the drivers’ view of signals and had to be replaced.
The latest lines to be electrified are the routes between Glasgow Queen Street, Stirling and Dunblane or Alloa, which began to be operated with electric trains on 9 December, as part of the new timetables. But although passengers were promised ‘the best railway Scotland has ever had’, problems have continued because the 385s and also refurbished HSTs have been late arriving, which then affects training arrangements.
ScotRail Alliance managing director Alex Hynes apologised for the disruption. He also said there should be significant improvements in Christmas week.
An overtime ban by the RMT had also contributed to the problems, although the dispute is now over.
Mick Hogg of the RMT said ScotRail relies on staff working overtime. He added: ‘No-one can be forced to work their free time, their rest days.’