The ScotRail Alliance – taking Pride in its appearance

ScotRail Alliance brands trains with Pride rainbows to celebrate the LGBTI event

15/06/18 – 18061502 – SCOTRAIL
EDINBURGH WAVERLY STATION – EDINBURGH
Scotrail show their support for Pride Edinburgh by displaying their logo on the side of one of their trains

 

ScotRail trains have been branded with the rainbow symbol to mark Pride Edinburgh this weekend.

 

Two ScotRail Class 170 trains have been branded with Pride’s iconic rainbow symbol in support of Pride Edinburgh, which takes place tomorrow (Saturday).

 

The trains will be in service across the country, including on the popular Edinburgh – Glasgow Queen Street main line, and the Borders Railway.

 

The ‘Pride Trains’ are the latest demonstration of the ScotRail Alliance’s support of Scotland’s LGBTI community.

 

Alex Hynes, ScotRail Alliance Managing Director, said:

 

“I’m thrilled to support Pride Edinburgh with our specially designed rainbow trains.

 

“At the ScotRail Alliance we want our workforce to reflect the diversity of our customers. We’re building the best railway Scotland has ever had, and we need the best people to do this.

 

“I would encourage anybody attending Pride Edinburgh, or with an interest in LGBTI, to get in touch with us to find out more about the work the ScotRail Alliance is doing to celebrate diversity and promote equality.”

 

Jamie Love, Pride Edinburgh, said:

 

“We at Pride Edinburgh are very grateful that ScotRail is proudly supporting and promoting our celebration of love in the Scottish capital.”

 

ScotRail Alliance to confirm improvements in East Lothian

The ScotRail Alliance will confirm how they are improving rail services for customers in East Lothian at a public meeting on Thursday evening (03 May).

The most recent figures show the level of service on the North Berwick route has improved in recent months, with 94.1 per cent of ScotRail trains meeting their target arrival time, having stopped at all scheduled stations. This is up by 10 per cent from the most challenging period last year.

And, over the past twelve weeks, just one in almost 3,000 services to run on the route missed a stop in order to prevent disruption spreading across the network.

More carriages are also heading to services in East Lothian: a number of trains on the route already have six carriages, following a trial early last year that has since been made permanent. By the end of the year, the majority of peak-time trains between North Berwick and Edinburgh are expected to have six carriages.

Once the new Hitachi Class 385 trains enter service, these will be introduced on the Edinburgh to Glasgow Queen Street via Falkirk High route, followed by the North Berwick route.

This announcement comes ahead of a public meeting on rail services in East Lothian which will take place in Prestonpans Town Hall, on Thursday 3 May at 7pm where leaders from the ScotRail Alliance will meet customers, as well as Martin Whitfield MP and Iain Gray MSP.

Phil Campbell, ScotRail’s Head of Customer Operations, who will be at the meeting said:

“Along with ScotRail Alliance colleagues, I’m looking forward to meeting with our customers in Prestonpans, answering their questions about the service we provide and the improvements we will be making.

“We know that East Lothian is an exceptionally popular place to live, and there’s an ever-growing demand for our services to and from Edinburgh.

“With that in mind, we are doing all we can to ensure everyone has a comfortable journey. By the end of this year, even more of our customers will be able to benefit from longer trains with more seats and better services.”

Parliamentarians to hold public meeting on local rail concerns

Iain Gray MSP and Martin Whitfield MP are holding a public meeting to provide a further opportunity for rail users to highlight ongoing problems with the service on the North Berwick Line.

The local parliamentarians have decided to hold the meeting following continued widespread frustration and complaints about the issues that have dogged the line, such as serious overcrowding, frequent delays and cancellations, and problems with ticketing, including broken ticket machines.

The meeting will take place on Thursday 3rd May at Prestonpans Town Hall starting at 7pm. The ScotRail Alliance has been invited to send a representative to help answer questions from those who attend the meeting.

Iain Gray MSP said:

I have spent years campaigning for the kind of safe, regular and reliable rail services that people in East Lothian need. Sadly, despite various promises and warm words from successive SNP Government Rail Ministers and ScotRail bosses, little progress has been made.

Indeed, I continue to receive a regular flow of complaints from local rail users about their poor experience on the North Berwick Line. Frequent overcrowding, sometimes to the point where passengers have felt unsafe, delays and cancellations cause huge frustration to those using the line.

This is unacceptable and must change. Martin and I intend to use this public meeting to reiterate the strength of feeling on the issue and relaunch our local #RailChange campaign for improvements in local services.”

Martin Whitfield MP said:

Last year I helped to organise Prestonpans’ community council’s public meeting on local rail services. That event was well attended and provided an opportunity for local rail users to make their feelings known and quiz ScotRail about the numerous problems they were experiencing.

Some commitments were made at that meeting around delivering improvements on the North Berwick Line. However, I think it’s clear to anyone who uses services on the line that very little has changed over the last 12 months.

This ongoing misery for commuters in East Lothian is simply not good enough. We need to see real action from all partners to remedy the problems and deliver a reliable service for local rail users. This meeting will provide another opportunity to push for that change.”

SCOTRAIL ALLIANCE PUBLISHES DETAILS OF PERFORMANCE IMPROVEMENT PLAN

  • Series of action plans to improve performance – including Golden Trains, Fleet Upgrades and Asset Improvement Programme
  • Performance has fallen 0.7% below expected levels in recent months to just under 90%
  • Publication comes as ScotRail Alliance steps up its ‘Ready for Autumn’ campaign

The ScotRail Alliance has published details on how they will improve train service performance.

The Performance Improvement Plan (click to open pdf) sets out actions that are being put in place to improve the reliability of trains and to ensure that the train infrastructure – including points, tracks and signals – is operating to its optimum efficiency.

The plan also covers improvements to the way train services are operated – including the identification, monitoring and protecting of ‘Golden Trains’. These are the services that, if delayed, have the biggest impact on the rest of the rest of the rail network.

The publication comes as the ScotRail Alliance steps up its work to prepare for Autumn – traditionally one of the most difficult periods for train operators across the UK – by rolling out its fleet of specialist trains to clean the tracks of falling vegetation.

Key points from the Performance Improvement Plan:

  • An £8m Asset Improvement Programme to replace or enhance key pieces of critical railway infrastructure in order to ensure that they are working at their absolute best
  • Specifically tailored upgrade programmes for key parts of the network such as Edinburgh and the Borders, Lanarkshire and Tayside
  • A programme of upgrades to trains to rectify the most common causes of faults
  • The identification, monitoring and protection of the ‘Golden Trains’ that, if delayed, have the biggest impact on the rest of the rail network
  • A programme to identify alterations to the way we operate our train timetable that will make our overall service more effective
  • Plans to improve the way we roster staff and diagram trains

ScotRail Alliance Infrastructure Director, David Dickson said: “We are not a just a company made up of metal boxes, wooden sleepers or concrete buildings. We have 7500 people working for us – and every single one of them is dedicated to doing the very best for our customers.

“Our railway is undergoing the biggest period of change and modernisation since the Victorian era. Over the course of the next year or so we will be completing huge projects to upgrade our infrastructure, electrifying large parts of the network and introducing new fleets of faster, longer greener and intercity trains.

“All of this work will transform rail travel in Scotland. We will have shorter journey times, better equipped trains and, crucially, a huge expansion in the number of services we run and the seats we are able to offer. When we complete this work, there will be a hundred thousand more seats available each and every weekday than there was at the start of the current Franchise.

“With this amount of change, there is inevitably some disruption. We are doing everything we can to minimise this – such as the work we did to keep people moving during the closure of the Queen Street Tunnel. However, there is no doubt that our performance in recent months, as a result of all of this work, has dipped slightly. The plan we are publishing today details how we bring it back to the level that our customers expect and that we want to deliver.”

On the plans to prepare for Autumn, David Dickson added: “Autumn is one of the most difficult periods for all rail operators across Britain. Leaves on the line has become a cliché over the years, but the problems that are caused by wet weather and vegetation are all too real.

“Leaf debris on the tracks can cause train wheels to slip – increasing breaking distances and making conditions more difficult for our drivers.

“We are committing a huge amount of time, effort and people to tackling these problems. The special trains we are deploying play a hugely important role in clearing tracks and keeping trains moving.”

RAGES: Write to your MSP

This note was circulated at the RAGES - Rail Action Group East of Scotland AGM. 

Reston and East Linton stations are within our grasp and we need you to keep up the pressure on your MSP and ultimately the Transport Minister, otherwise we face another 20 years of closed stations and no hope of trains ever returning to Berwickshire and East Lothian. 

Below is a style of Email or Letter for your MSP. Please send this to at least one of your elected representatives - or to all of them - so that they know that the people of Berwickshire and East Lothian are really in favour of our Stations returning.
-------------------------------------------------Suggested Email to South of Scotland MSPs:
Rachael.Hamilton.msp@parliament.scot; Iain.Gray.msp@parliament.scot; Joan.McAlpine.msp@parliament.scot; Emma.Harper.msp@parliament.scot; Paul.Wheelhouse.msp@parliament.scot; Brian.Whittle.msp@parliament.scot; Claudia.Beamish.msp@parliament.scot; Colin.Smyth.msp@parliament.scot; John.Lamont.msp@parliament.scot 

Dear (MSP Name) I am writing to ask you to lobby the Transport Minister, Humza Yousaf, to go ahead with the re-opening of our stations at Reston in Berwickshire and East Linton in East Lothian, where we have been campaigning for almost 20 years. A good business case has been made for both stations and both Scottish Borders Council and East Lothian Council are very supportive. We now need the Minister to prioritise these re-openings to enable our rural areas to grow and to benefit from all the advantages that a rail link brings. More information can be found at http://www.rages.org.uk/. Please help us overcome this final hurdle to get our stations Back on Track. (Your Name and Address)..................................................................................................... ......................................................................................................................................

Later Festival Train

ScotRail is currently running a later train for people travelling back to East Lothian from the Edinburgh festivals.

 

Until Sunday 28 August, a later train will run on Friday and Saturdays to North Berwick (with a bus connection at Drem to Dunbar). The train will depart Edinburgh Waverley at 00:06. The bus will depart Drem at 00:42.

See additional info at scotrail.co.uk/majorevents

Scotrail strike days!

UPDATE 16.6.16: See Scotrail’s dedicated travel advice site here: bit.ly/1UQfpyy

 

RAIL UNION RMT today confirmed a campaign of strike action and industrial action short of a strike over the extension of Driver Only Operation and Driver Controlled operation on Scotrail.

The action will commence as follows;

Strikes

•    0001 hours and 2359 hours Tuesday 21st June 2016
•    0001 hours and 2359 hours Thursday 23rd June 2016
•    0001 hours Saturday 25th June 2016 and 2359 hours Sunday 26th June 2016
•    0001 hours to 2359 hours Sunday 3rd July 2016
•    0001 hours to 2359 hours Sunday 10th July 2016
•    0001 hours to 2359 hours Sunday 17th July 2016

Action Short of a strike (Overtime Ban)

•    0001 hours and 2359 hours Wednesday 22nd June 2016
•    0001 hours and 2359 hours Friday 24th June 2016
•    0001 hours on Monday 27th June 2016 and 2359 hours Saturday 2nd July 2016
•    0001 hours on Monday 11th July 2016 and 2359 hours Saturday 16th July 2016
•    0001 hours on Monday 18th July 2016 and 2359 hours Saturday 16th July 2016

Read about the RMT campaign to keep guards on Scotrail trains here.

Your Railway, Your Say

Any commuters on the North Berwick to Edinburgh peak time trains can attest to the overcrowding and unreliability of the ticket machines.

ScotRail has launched The Platform – an online panel to give you a chance to have your say on how Scotland’s railway is run.

To register, you will need to complete a few short questions about yourself and how you currently get out and about. Once you have registered you can then take part in your first survey!

You might also be interested in joining rail pressure group RAGES, which has as one its aims “To improve the rail service between Edinburgh, Dunbar and Berwick upon Tweed.”.  Membership is only £4 and you will be kept up to date with the latest rail developments.