Edinburgh Waverley station worst in Scotland for delays and cancellations

As an experienced train commuter, Michaella Wheatley gives an insight into how train delays from Edinburgh Waverley can impact everyday lives.

“The 15:35 service to Stirling has been delayed. Please listen for further announcements.”

The sigh that escaped my mouth was echoed across the platform. A quick glance around, and it became obvious that this was the last thing anyone wanted to hear. Frowns were plastered to almost all faces on platform 14 – and those who did not wear a frown wore a blank expression instead.

It was not that much of a surprise to hear my train was delayed. Unpleasant and disappointing? Yes, but shocking? No.

At least one train a week, out of the three Edinburgh to Stirling services I took, ended up being slightly delayed. This varied from the train being a minute late to arriving at the platform roughly a quarter of an hour after its scheduled time. For me, this meant waiting on the platform for longer, then being home a little later than planned.

It might not seem like a long time to me, but for those who had to catch another train, it was inconvenient. These are the commuters who are always hit the hardest when trains fail to run on time — the domino-effect of one delayed train, leading to missing the next train, and so on, is likely to ruin their plans completely.

Judging from some of the reactions to this announcement around me, it was easy to spot who would be missing their next train home.

In light of the importance of reliable train services and why they are important to commuters, consumer group Which? has uncovered the percentage of delayed and cancelled services for stations across the UK.

The company looked at the 20 busiest train stations outside of London and the ten busiest London stations from the beginning of this year to September 30, 2018, using data from the rail-performance tracking website On Time Trains.

Michaella W 3

42% of all Edinburgh Waverley services end up delayed by more than a minute.

Three of Scotland’s train stations made the top 20 busiest stations in the UK: Edinburgh Waverley, Glasgow Queen Street, and Glasgow Central. Most services ran smoothly for both Glasgow stations, with Queen Street reaching only 39% of delays and Central on second place with 34%. The two Glasgow stations reported a 3% in cancellations on all services.

Edinburgh was ranked the worst station in Scotland, the 16th worst outside of London, even though it is the second busiest Scottish station after Glasgow Central.

Last week, Which? reported that 42% of all train services from Edinburgh Waverley are delayed, by one minute or more, or cancelled. The station’s cancellation rate was stated to be 4%.

However, since the end of September, these statistics have changed slightly.

The table below, including statistics from On Time Trains about Edinburgh Waverley’s performance over the past six months, reports the current percentage of delays and cancellations.

Edinburgh Waverley Station Performance

It is hoped that rail companies, as well as the government, will take notice of this report.

Alex Hayman, who is the Managing Director of Public Markets at Which?, said: “Passengers have told us reliability is hugely important to them. People have been left deeply frustrated at the unacceptably high levels of delays and cancellations which impact on their everyday lives.

“Passengers must be at the centre of the forthcoming Government rail review, it must look at performance targets to drive improvements in punctuality and reliability for passengers.

“The review must not be used as an excuse to delay real action to improve passengers’ experiences on the trains today. As a first step, the Government must introduce fully automatic compensation, ensuring more passengers get the money they are owed.”

In the Which? report, it is found that only eight train operating companies offer Delay Repay, and ScotRail is one of them.

This report from Which? comes a few weeks after ScotRail announced major changes to the train timetables, which will take effect in December, and are hoped to combat criticism from passengers about over-crowding trains during rush hour. The changes include faster journey times, more services, and more seats have been promised, but failed to announce how this would affect the punctuality of Scotland’s train, which is, at the end of the day, the biggest problem at hand.


Nearly 900 trains cancelled on the Edinburgh-Glasgow line last year

It has been revealed just under 900 trains were cancelled between Edinburgh and Glasgow in 2017.

The figures obtained by Forth 1 Radio, show of the 41,441 trains scheduled to run on the line, 891 were cancelled.

Almost 700 trains were affected Credit: Google

433 were cancelled due to signalling and point failures whilst 458 failed to run because of train faults and staff shortages.

Trains that run as normal yet miss a stop are considered cancelled.

Despite these figures, ScotRail remains one the best performer out of the five largest UK operators.

We spoke with some disgruntled passengers who often use this line.

David Campbell, 54:

“I’m not surprised with those numbers.  The service is appalling and has been for a long time.  Also the prices are too high for the standard of service.”

Karen Millar, 31:

“Every week I know at least one of my trains will be cancelled.  It’s got that bad and it often makes me late for my work.”

Caitlin Milligan, 27:

“The cancellations are frustrating.  You could tell the number had gotten worse.  Thankfully they are trying to sort out the other problems such as over-crowding with the new bigger trains.”

ScotRail said they are investing millions in Scotland’s railway with the aim of improving services for their customers.

Your View: Scotrail

Commuters give their views on the state of Scottish railways, after calls to privatize the Scottish rail service. This is following the news that Scotrail trains between Edinburgh, Perth and Dundee are slower today than they were in the Victorian era.

Train journeys from Edinburgh slower than they were in Victorian times

New findings from Scottish Labour have shown that train journeys between Edinburgh, Perth and Dundee are slower today than they were in the 1800s.

Despite trains being powered by steam, journeys took less time then than they do today. In 1895 it took only 57 minutes to Dundee from Edinburgh compared to today where it takes just over an hour.  And from Edinburgh to Perth it took 65 minutes whereas today it takes 72 minutes.

Scotrail have blamed the longer train journeys on the fact that trains have to service more stations in-between the capital and both Perth and Dundee than they did in the 19th Century.

Scottish Labour transport spokesman Neil Bibby said:”While the route has of course changed, it will still amaze passengers that journey times between the capital and Perth and Dundee can be slower than services were in the age of steam.”

Further comments from the transport spokesman suggest never ending delays and cancellations on Scotland’s railways have led to the longer train journey times that we experience now.


Edinburgh Waverly train station

Following the findings opposition parties have called for Transport Minister Humza Yousaf to make an urgent statement to Parliament over proposals to bring Scotland’s railways to public ownership.

The Transport Minister will update Parliament today on the actions being taken to improve Scotland’s rail services and the investments being made in additional seating, carriages and services for passengers in Scotland.

Transport Minister Update




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