Scotrail has announced some of its services will be cancelled due to the Forth Road Bridge closure to provide more trains for priority routes.
Travel throughout the country has been chaotic today following the decision to close the bridge until the new year after cracks were found by engineers.
As more travellers use the train network, Scotrail has been forced to provide more trains, using every carriage it has, to cope with demand in “exceptional circumstances”.
The company says it will reduce services on some routes, with details to follow on which ones to come over the weekend. It also issued a warning that Storm Desmond could also affect services over the next few days.
Rail union RMT is warning the situation has exposed a “chronic” lack of train capacity in the country.
RMT General Secretary Mick Cash said: “The sudden and enforced closure of the Forth Bridge has seriously exposed the chronic lack of spare rolling stock and capacity on Scotrail with the company now advising people not to use their services and to stay at home.
“It is a ludicrous state of affairs when the main rail service is tipped into complete meltdown because of passengers seeking an alternative way of completing their journey.
“This situation calls for an immediate review of the capacity and fleet stock on Scotrail so that passengers are not confronted with this kind of chaotic situation in the future.”
Additional rail capacity has been put in place so far and a full travel plan is being prepared for the duration of the closure.
A spokeswoman for Scotrail said: “We would like to thank customers for the patience they have shown today and the way they have dealt with these exceptional circumstances.
“Staff worked through the night to deliver increased capacity on around a quarter of today’s services linking Glenrothes and Edinburgh. An extra 50 people were on hand at stations to assist customers.
“Looking ahead to Monday, and our plans for the next few weeks, we recognise that limiting the impact of the Forth Road Bridge closure is a national priority for Scotland.
“We’re focused on acting in the best interests of the country, local communities and the economy. This means keeping as many people moving as possible.
“We’re already using every train we have at our disposal, so we must consider other ways to add capacity to trains between Fife and the Lothians. The most effective action we can take is to reduce services on a handful of routes where other public transport options are available.
“This will enable us to add more carriages on existing services over the Forth from Monday – and perhaps extra trains when possible to help keep the nation moving.
“We will share the details of which routes are affected over the weekend, to give people time to adjust their travel plans. We are also keeping a close eye on warnings of storm force winds and heavy rain tomorrow (Saturday), which may impact upon services.”
Scotrail has issued this advice:
· Plan ahead by checking our website and app
· Leave extra time to travel as services to be busier than normal
· Make your journey faster by buying your ticket before you go to the station.
The Scottish Government says it is taking “every step” to lessen the impact of the closure.