ScotRail has been hit with a deadline to start an improvement plan after an appalling record of services in Fife.
The operator has been issued a remedial plan notice by Transport Scotland after it fell below the expected standard in November and December.
Scottish Ministers expect services to fall below par during the current reporting period. ScotRail now has eight weeks to submit a remedial plan.
Michael Matheson, Cabinet Secretary for Transport, Infrastructure and Connectivity said: “We have stressed many times that ScotRail must improve, but too often passengers have been left disappointed.
“We are taking this contractual step of issuing a remedial plan notice.
“ScotRail recognises the reasons for this notice and the importance in returning performance across our rail network to contractually acceptable levels.
“Passengers want and deserve a railway which delivers the benefits of more seats and services on a consistently reliable basis.”
Alex Hynes, managing director of the ScotRail Alliance, said: “We know that the service our customers have received hasn’t been good enough recently.
“Everybody at the ScotRail Alliance is working flat out to deliver the improvements our customers expect and deserve.
“ScotRail will submit a remedial plan to Transport Scotland within the eight week timescale outlined.”