ScotRail has confirmed that its temporary timetable – introduced in early January following the rapid spread of the Omicron variant of coronavirus – will end and its pre-Christmas timetable will return on Monday, 14 February.
The Omicron variant had a significant impact on the train operator, affecting hundreds of staff meaning ScotRail services were impacted. At the peak of the Omicron wave, more than 450 ScotRail staff were absent. The temporary timetable provided greater certainty for customers on which services will operate.
Around 150 ScotRail remain absent due to COVID, including 50 drivers. However, with this improving picture, and restrictions across Scotland being relaxed, the operator is now able to safely reintroduce the timetable that was in operation in early December, which delivers around 2,000 services a day.
From Monday, 14 February, customers will see more services and more seats across the country, as the number of people travelling steadily increases.
ScotRail is also reminding everyone travelling on Scotland’s Railway to stay safe by continuing to follow Scottish Government guidelines.
This means maintaining good hand hygiene and the mandatory wearing of a face covering for the entirety of their journey, which includes on trains and in stations – both enclosed and open-air platforms.
David Simpson, ScotRail Service Delivery Director, said:
“The introduction of some temporary changes to our timetable was important for our customers, providing a level of certainty during a challenging time.
“Those changes have allowed us to keep people moving across the country, and our staff worked flat out to run a safe and reliable railway in really difficult and continually changing circumstances.
“We still face significant challenges, with 150 staff absent, but with things improving, and restrictions across Scotland being relaxed, we are now able to safely reintroduce our full timetable of around 2,000 services a day.
“The pandemic is not over yet and we will still face some disruption due to staff absence, but we are confident of providing a reliable service for our customers.”