Letter From Keith Brown is reprinted below
Scotrail's customer website is now up and running, providing information for customers and seeking feedback, including on the proposed May timetable – it can be accessed here: https://www.scotrail.co.uk/plan-your-journey/timetables-and-routes/proposed-timetable-improvements.
I write to update you on the meeting yesterday between Keith Brown MSP and the Operations Director of Scotrail. A number of issues were discussed regarding the issues currently facing rail passengers in Mr Brown's constituency, and a note of the discussion to various points covered is summarised as follows:
* Ongoing cancellations and disruptions – unacceptable levels of service for customers served by Alloa, Bridge of Allan and Dunblane stations.
The delay in delivery of the type 385 electric trains and the training of drivers to operate them has seen disruption to services continue. Industrial action (now resolved) also affected timescale to complete this necessary driver training. 100 train cancellations occurred on Monday, down to 34 on Tuesday, but this is clearly unacceptable. Training is proceeding on a daily basis which will see incidences of cancellations and disruption continue to reduce.
* December timetable – promised benefits to customers using these stations following the considerable period of disruption caused by electrification work is not being realised in the new timetable, and in some instances services offered are worse.
The delay in delivery of the type 385 electric trains has adversely affected the ability of Scotrail to deliver a timetable that provides regular services at necessary peak times, and reduce journey times whilst increasing seat capacity. 31 of the type 385 trains have now been delivered, and the issue affecting their full deployment to deliver the December timetable is that of trained drivers, which is being rapidly addressed. A further 39 type 385 trains are due to be delivered in the next few months, which will provide the capacity to deliver a much more advantageous timetable in May.
The May timetable will shortly be consulted upon with customers – the dedicated webpage for this, which will include an email address for customers to feed in views, should be established and live within days. Those comments will be considered in context with information from other stakeholders on the needs of other communities in the corridor and also their views on how best to attract customers from private car to public transport.
* Responsibilities on Scotrail where the last service of the day is cancelled or stops early, eg at Stirling.
Scotrail is responsible for providing alternative transport where services are cancelled. This includes taxis where this is appropriate. In answer to point about alleged instances where no staff are available to arrange this: this should not be happening. Mr Brown to write formally to Scotrail about this issue
I hope this summary of meeting notes is helpful. Scotrail have undertaken to provide further information to us, and I will forward on any such further information Mr Brown receives on this matter, including details of the dedicated website when this is launched by Scotrail.
The first ever electric train arrived in Dunblane last night having completed a full speed test run,. Electric services to Edinburgh and Glasgow are due to start on 9th December with Dunblane being the most northerly station in the country to have electric services. See the video from Network Rail :
Haymarket - Best time 51 minutes
Edinburgh Park - Best Time 46 minutes
Glasgow - Best time 35 minutes
The new rail times for Dunblane commuters are dissappointing and the background is complex :
- This timetable introduces the Glasgow-Cumbernauld-Edinburgh service which was intended to cover the stops at Linlithgow and Polmont. In fact the Dunblane train is stopping there - this may be due to protests or maybe an interim approach. These stops may be removed in May (next timetable change) which would improve timings. This was supposed to be a mitigation to the removal of the 7.23 Dunblane Express.
- At the next timetable change again in May all trains on the line will be electric and have faster acceleration. There will now be 12 trains an hour instead of 10 through Newbridge Junction, so reliability will be an interesting challenge.
Juggling the greater number of trains on the Central Scotland triangle has required focus on the citys eg Stirling and this has resulted in the strange scenario of a quicker train from Dunblane that needs to sit at Stirling for a significant number of minutes.
.From the Stirling Observer 21 November 2018
Here is the 28 November Stirlng Observer Article about the Wall
Here is the 21 November Stirlng Observer Article about the Wall
Stirling Observer Picks up the Pink Benches Story !
From Facebook : Dear Stirling Council, please bring back our benches!
Nora GilfillanDunblane Development Trust toI thought the pink benches were lovely - sad they have gone
Hamilton Rach Why did the go ??
Beth Boyd Hopefully to be repainted!!!!
Ann Robertson The volunteers spent a lot of time painting them. Maybe not to everyones taste but certainly colourful??
Alan Smeaton Why/who removed them? Does anyone have contact details?
Jane Stewart Disgraceful that after all that work the council come in & whip them away without a word & the cost? Council must have money to burn!!!!
Karen Patrick They looked great ..
Louise Owen #bringbackourbenches #pinkbenches
Nora Gilfillan I thought they were beautiful and fun - a change from black or dark green. It is the first time in my life that I ever stopped and took photos of park benches. (I’m glad I did) It was a lovely sunny day and they made me smile. With all the beautiful pink and purple flowers around they looked great .... in my opinion..... but then I love colour ??????????
Ros Walker Noooooooooo!
Helen Dixon Beautiful
Victoria Hall Dunblane people walking through this area will want to sit down and soak up the lovely atmosphere all year, not just in the summer. so hope Stirling Council bring them back soon
Margaret Lawrie Why have benches been removed and who removed them ?? Where they removed because someone didnt like colour - surely not - made you smile!
Arlene Lindsay Just like they need to bring back all the toilets too. A disgrace they havent got any now
Stirling-Dunblane-Alloa Electrification update
Following the successful completion of recent engineering works along the Stirling - Dunblane – Alloa (SDA) railway we are now moving to the next stage of making the line Live.
The initial electrification of the SDA route between Greenhill Junction, Polmont Junction, Grangemouth Junction and Larbert Junction was completed and made live in May 2018. The final section from Larbert Junction to Stirling, Dunblane and Alloa will be live for testing from Sunday 4th November. Network Rail is advising lineside communities that the overhead lines will be LIVE and DANGEROUS.
Electrification of the railway will means increased capacity on routes by improving the infrastructure to enable longer, faster and greener modern electric trains to run.
With the overhead lines carrying a deadly 25,000 volts of electricity, our primary focus is ensuring the safety of our lineside neighbours. We have an on-going programme to raise awareness about the changes to the railway, particularly among young people.
Supported by the British Transport Police (BTP), we have already initiated visits to schools across the SDA route to deliver a series of workshops to warn of the dangers of trespassing on rail lines or playing near electric power cables.
Safety notification leaflets are also being distributed to lineside neighbours and schools in your constituency.
This rolling programme of activity will continue throughout the year, where in addition to BTP’s activity, we will also deliver sport workshops to highlight the changes to the railway environment and further reinforce the safety message.
In addition to all schools receiving the safety notification leaflet, we are also encouraging teachers to deliver lesson plans from electrification and rail safety resources available via our website at www.networkrail.co.uk/communities/safety-in-the-community/safety-education
Adverts will also feature within the local press to raise awareness amongst drivers and communities who live near and travel through Level Crossings on the Stirling to Bridge of Allan line and also the Alloa line, to ensure they consider the height of their vehicle in relation to the live overhead equipment.
I hope that this gives you a flavour of the activity we have planned for your constituency. We would welcome your support in communicating our safety messages and ask that you circulate the attached leaflet via your own social media platforms and community websites and follow and Retweet information posted via @NetworkRailEGIP
Dave Boyce, Senior Communications Manager, Network Rail, Scotland