ScotRail has explained why so many trains have been called off as a result of staffing shortages.
On Monday at least 57 of more than 70 cancelled services were put down to a “shortage of train crew”, much to the frustration of passengers across the country.
From noon onward, 18 services to stations in Courier country were affected by staffing problems.
A signalling fault at Perth had also caused chaos for commuters early on Monday morning, with services to Aberdeen, Edinburgh, Glasgow and Inverness all affected. Maintenance led to further cancellations.
When quizzed on the reason behind the crew shortages, ScotRail Alliance managing director Alex Hynes said “compressed” staff training is currently being carried out as a result of the late delivery of new Hitachi and Wabtec trains.
Crews require to be trained on the new vehicles and on new routes.
He added that RMT industrial action – which centred on rest day working payments, and led to an overtime ban for many staff members – had also been a factor until recently.
An agreement was reached in the dispute in early December.
However passengers have been warned that service disruption will “remain” for the time being as crew training continues.
Mr Hynes said commuters “can expect an improvement in the coming weeks”.
He said: “We’re sorry to customers for the disruption to services in recent weeks. We know the impact this has on your day, and are working flat out to get things back to normal.
“The disruption has been caused by two key factors:
“1. Late delivery of new trains by Hitachi and Wabtec means the training that is required for our train crew, on new trains and new routes, has had to be compressed into a very short space of time.
“Day-to-day services have had to be cancelled to allow our people to take part in training.
“2. RMT industrial action meant there was an overtime ban for some of our people, which lasted for several weeks.
“This is now resolved but made the problem of train crew training worse.
“Training is ongoing so that we can get services back to normal and we can expect an improvement in the coming weeks.
“But while we continue to train our conductors and drivers some disruption will remain.”
He added: “We know this isn’t acceptable, and are sorry to customers about this. Every single person at the ScotRail Alliance is working hard to improve things for our customers as soon as possible.