Trains lined up at Helensburgh Central Station. Carriage numbers victory for MSP.

By Lucy Ashton

Jackie Baillie, MSP for Dumbarton, has secured an increase in the number of carriages being provided by Scotrail for services going to and from Helensburgh Central in the run up to Christmas.

This follows a meeting that Ms Baillie held with Scotrail officials last month where she expressed serious concerns regarding the fact that many Scotrail services had reduced carriage numbers from six to three carriages.

Scotrail cited a lack of passenger demand as the reason for a reduction in carriages but Jackie Baillie asked for the original carriage numbers to be reinstated given the vital need for passengers to social distance from each other whilst on the train.

Scotrail has now confirmed to Jackie Baillie that “following your feedback and with the latest change in lockdown restrictions across the Central Belt that were introduced on Friday, 11 December, we have increased capacity on services from Helensburgh Central.

“The majority of services from Helensburgh Central will therefore operate with six carriages again. With the timetable change that took place on Sunday, 13 December, we will continue to operate six carriage services on this route for the run up to Christmas.”

Cardross Station on the main line from Helensburgh to Dumbarton and Glasgow.

The MSP, who represents Dumbarton, Vale of Leven, Helensburgh and Lomond,  said:  “I am delighted that Scotrail have taken on board my concerns and those of the many local people who rely on train travel to get about.

“I understand that fewer people are taking the train at the moment but the vital need to keep two metres apart wherever possible means that it is more important than ever to have six carriages on all services.

“This increase will come as reassurance to everyone who will be travelling by train during the relaxation of restrictions between 23 and 27 December.”

“I will continue to ensure that Scotrail does everything in its power to provide a reliable local service and to keep passengers safe.”

Down Memory Lane: Back in the days when snow engulfed trains on the West Highland Line. Top picture Dumbarton Central Station.

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