Covid plays havoc with Borders trains

Anyone planning a trip to the capital today should be aware of potential problems on the Borders Railway, with several trains being delayed or cancelled due to a member of on-train staff taking ill.

Galashiels railway station.
Galashiels railway station.

It’s a popular trip for shoppers the day after Boxing Day, but Scotrail has been forced to make changes to the service today, due to lack of staff available.

The 9.29am train from Tweedbank to Edinburgh is now running 13 minutes late after being delayed at Galashiels.

It’s had a knock-on effect on later services, too, with the 11.29 train north, previously due at 12.29, being cancelled all together.

The 12.29pm and 3.29pm trains north will be formed of two coaches instead of three, and Scotrail’s website notes: “Sorry this train has fewer carriages than normal. Due to physical distancing, customers may want to plan to travel on an alternative service.”

Also, the 4.30pm train will likewise have fewer coaches than normal, ie, three instead of six.

Later trains to Edinburgh Waverley, at 5.28pm and 8.29pm, have been cancelled, again “due to a member of on-train staff being taken ill.”

ScotRail has confirmed it will make temporary timetable changes from next week due to the continued impact of coronavirus, with several routes being affected, including the Borders Railway.

A spokesman for the rail service provider said: “The rapid spread of the Omicron variant has seen a recent spike of Covid-related absences among ScotRail staff – with some having tested positive, others awaiting PCR test results, and many who are self-isolating as a result of being in close contact with someone who has tested positive.   “These staff absences have had an impact on ScotRail services – mainly across the central belt of Scotland – and have resulted in a number of services cancelled or amended in recent weeks.  “In order to provide customers with a level of certainty about which services are running in the coming weeks, ScotRail will make temporary changes to its timetable from Tuesday, January 4, 2022.”

From that date, the following trains will be cancelled: the 6.50am, 7.51am, 4.53pm and 5.56pm from Edinburgh to Tweedbank, and the 6.58am, 7.58am, 8.59am and 6.59pm from Tweedbank to Edinburgh.