Murdo has raised the “scandalous” issue of an overcrowded Fife train with the First Minister at Holyrood – the train being so busy that some passengers were left waiting at the platform.
He questioned why a peak time train, travelling from Inverkeithing to Edinburgh, only had two carriages when ScotRail had previously promised the problem of overcrowded Fife trains would be improved by May, with the plan to “improve capacity,” thus “substantially” reducing the use of these ‘short trains.’
This followed a meeting in March with the then Transport Minister Jenny Gilruth, when discussion centred around ScotRail ceasing to use their fleet of diesel trains and instead, introducing a new timetable for the Fife rail network in May 2024, which will go to public consultation.
Commenting, Murdo said: “I boarded an 8.11am train at Inverkeithing rail station recently bound for Edinburgh, but it was packed like sardines. It was so overcrowded that several passengers were left waiting on the platform for the next train, which was due in another 20 minutes, meaning these people would be late for their work.
“You could see there were already many passengers having to stand when this train arrived at Inverkeithing – it was scandalous. At the meeting back in March with Jenny Gilruth, we were told that this ‘short train’ issue would be resolved by May, but it hasn’t been.”
Murdo continued: “It is all very well and commendable for ScotRail to announce they will be reducing the price of peak time fares but there isn’t much point if passengers can’t board the train they need. In their response to my office about the debacle this morning, ScotRail have said that due to a train fault, there were fewer carriages available and the train operated with two carriages instead. They apologised to me and the other commuters and stated they plan for ‘the majority’ of rail services in Fife to be operated by at least four carriages, but this should have happened by now.
“I raised this with the First Minister during First Minister’s Questions at Holyrood today, and he has promised that the Cabinet Secretary for Transport, Infrastructure and Connectivity of Scotland, will look into this issue and write to me with her findings, and also said a meeting will be arranged between MSPs who represents Fife and the Cabinet Secretary, which I welcome.”