Lack of help at train stations is highlighted
HELP points at the West Highland Line’s rural and remote railway stations are not staffed when trains run between midnight and 6am, Connel Community Council heard last week.
One local passenger told councillors he only discovered the help points were unmanned when he travelled early to attend a remembrance day service on November 11, and the conductor informed him the train was terminating at Crianlarich due to ‘staff shortages’.
‘There is no information or help service available at Connel Ferry station when the first train of the day departs at 5.32am,’ he said.
‘Consequently, there is no travel information and no means of calling for assistance in an emergency – other than by mobile phone if there is a signal or from the village phone box or by knocking on the nearest house door.
‘I find it strange the contract with the train service provider apparently does not include the requirement for these station contact services to be available whenever trains are running, especially at remote unmanned stations.’
ScotRail apologised and explained: ‘The help points are available from 6am to 11.59pm Monday to Saturday and 8am to 23.59pm on Sundays. At unmanned stations, these should always be the first port of call for customers with inquiries.
‘A small number of services operate before and after the opening hours of our customer service centre in Dunfermline. In urgent situations, when help points are unmanned, customers can call for assistance on 0141 335 5240. In an emergency, as always, customers should dial 999. We also provide 24-hour live train information through our website and app.’