Passengers let down after Borders Railway halted by staff shortages

Tweedbank train station, the end of the line for the Borders Railway line
Tweedbank train station, the end of the line for the Borders Railway line

Staff shortages are being blamed for what has been dubbed the Borders Railway’s “worst day yet” after almost all of the evening’s trains were cancelled yesterday.

Campaign for Borders Rail chairman Simon Walton said: “There’s much comment from would-be passengers that the Borders Railway is being targeted for ’staff shortages’,” he said. “I can’t verify that, but ScotRail’s twitter feed is citing that as the reason.

“This comes hard on the heels of crush overcrowding and assurances given to the campaign by ScotRail Alliance that services would be more closely monitored.”

One passenger said: “Maybe ScotRails worst day since the Borders Railway opened in 2015. Simply not good enough, even by their latest poor standards.”

Train operators ScotRail told us staff training was to blame and confirmed that even though the Borders hasn’t had new trains, the crews that operate on our route do work, and are being trained, on other types of trains and routes.

A ScotRail spokesman said: “We’re really sorry to our customers who experienced disruption on the Borders Railway. We did everything we could to keep people moving, which included arranging alternative transport.

“It has been a challenging time for Scotland’s railway, but things are beginning to improve.

“More trains are arriving on time than ever before, and everyone at the ScotRail Alliance is working flat out to provide customers with the service they deserve.

“We are training more than 20 drivers and conductors every day, and this will deliver continual improvements in the coming weeks and months.”