More peak time seats on town’s rail­way line

East Kilbride News - - NEWS -

FRASER WILSON

Com­muters on the East Kil­bride to Glas­gow line are to ben­e­fit from ad­di­tional seats at peak times.

And the an­nounce­ment from ScotRail has been wel­comed by Gra­ham Simp­son MSP.

The move means the ma­jor­ity of trains to and from East Kil­bride will have six car­riages and 436 seats. But it won’t come into ef­fect un­til May.

Ad­di­tional Class 156 trains will be pro­vided on the ser­vice dur­ing the morn­ing and evening, and comes on the back of “sig­nif­i­cant pas­sen­ger growth” in re­cent years on the line.

ScotRail’s head of busi­ness de­vel­op­ment, Scott Pren­tice, said: “This is a fan­tas­tic boost for cus­tomers in South La­nark­shire.

“This is the first phase of the larger Scot­tish gov­ern­ment project to en­hance the rail­way to East Kil­bride and Bar­rhead.

“These routes are show­ing con­tin­ual growth and I’m de­lighted we will be able to make such sig­nif­i­cant im­prove­ments for our cus­tomers.”

More than three mil­lion cus­tomers trav­elled on the East Kil­bride route last year – an in­crease of 900,000 pas­sen­gers in nine years

The ad­di­tional seat­ing has been made pos­si­ble thanks to Trans­port Scot­land, who sup­ported the im­prove­ments with ad­di­tional fund­ing.

The rail op­er­a­tors made the an­nounce­ment last week amid protests over fare in­creases.

It also came on the back of sig­nif­i­cant travel dis­rup­tion across the net­work be­cause of en­gi­neer­ing works over the fes­tive pe­riod.

Mr Simp­son wel­comed the news, say­ing: “The next step is to see the line made twin-track through­out and hope­fully elec­tri­fied.

“Much, much bet­ter park­ing is also re­quired as the town ex­pands if we want peo­ple to use the train.”

The ex­tra seats will be in­tro­duced when the elec­tri­fi­ca­tion projects across the Cen­tral Belt are com­pleted – at that time, ScotRail will have re­ceived enough of its brand-new Hi­tachi Class 385 trains, free­ing up ex­ist­ing rolling stock.

De­layed joy Com­muters will ben­e­fit from more seats on East Kil­bride - Glas­gow ser­vices

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