Train services back but passengers warned

A clip from the new video released by Scot Rail

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Train services are set to get back on track from Monday.

ScotRail said ‘more than 90 per cent’ of normal services will resume from August 3 with early morning, late night and peak time trains running again.

The company said the increase in services comes ahead of the expected reopening of schools on August 11.

At peak hours in the morning and evening, it expects ‘100 per cent of normal capacity’ to be provided with a normal timetable and the usual number of carriages.

However, due to social distancing of one-metre now being in place, many seats will still have to remain empty, it said.

It has called on passengers to be ‘patient’ and said they may not be able to get their first choice of train.

It has also urged people to consider alternative travel options where possible, including walking and cycling, to free up space for those who have no choice but to travel by train.

David Simpson, ScotRail operations director, said: ‘Thanks to the hard work of staff across Scotland’s Railway, we’ll operate as close to a normal timetable as possible from Monday, August 3.

‘Like businesses across the world, we continue to face challenges caused by coronavirus, but we will have every available train in service from August 3.

‘We do need everybody to continue taking personal responsibility for their travel choices, because physical distancing can’t be guaranteed.’

ScotRail said a number of measures had been introduced to keep staff and passengers safe.

These include the provision of hand sanitiser and face masks at the busiest stations.

Customers are reminded to buy in advance of travel via the ScotRail app, website, or station facilities to ensure waiting times are reduced and physical distancing supported.

It said all customers must hold a valid ticket before boarding a train.

Scotland’s Railway announced a move to a minimum of one metre physical distancing on trains and at stations, which came into effect on Monday, July 27.

Its rules for safer travel, include the wearing of a face covering on trains and at stations.

Others are:

Do not travel if you feel unwell or have a temperature

Travel away from the main commuting times (7-9am) and (2-6.30pm) wherever possible.

The earliest and latest trains serve key workers, such as NHS and care home staff

If you think it’s not safe to board a train, don’t do it and wait for another service

Wear a face mask or covering and, where possible, maintain physical distancing.

Be patient. You might not be able to board your first choice of train, as physical distancing means most seats need to be left empty.

  • Driver training was suspended during lockdown, due to physical distancing rules making it impossible for two people to sit in the driver’s cab at the same time.

ScotRail has produced a video explaining its challenges which can be watched here: