Keeping you moving during disruption

During disruption, we do our utmost to get you where you need to go.

If we can't get you to your destination by train, we'll normally arrange some form of alternative transport.

And as the weather gets colder, find out what we're doing to keep you moving and how you can get prepared for winter

Check your journey…

At stations we provide information by making announcements and by posting information on platform screens. You can also speak to station staff, or use one of the platform help points to speak to a member of our Customer Relations team.

There are several online resources to keep you updated:

You can also find information about longer periods of improvement work on our website or by looking out for posters at the stations you use regularly.

Alternative transport

We have agreements with other transport providers to let you use your train ticket (traditional paper version or Smartcard) to travel on certain buses, trams and the Glasgow Subway when disruption hits.

When we need to, we 'activate' this arrangement so their staff know to allow you to travel. We'll also let you know by making station announcements, issuing alerts on social media and posting live updates on our website.

Bus operator Routes
Borders Buses Tweedbank - Edinburgh
First Aberdeen Dyce - Aberdeen
First East Bridge of Allan - Linlithgow
First Glasgow All First Glasgow routes
Lothian Buses All Lothian bus routes to/from Edinburgh
McGills Inverclyde area - Paisley
Perrymans Edinburgh - Dunbar
Stagecoach Aberdeen - Montrose, Inverness - Aberdeen, Inverness - Wick/Thurso
Whitelaws Larkhall - Motherwell

We do our best to arrange replacement buses if disruption is likely to last a while. Please be ready to show your rail ticket when using a replacement bus.

It can take up to hour to organise buses and crew, and get them where they need to be. It's more difficult to secure buses during big concerts or sporting events - and during peak times when many buses are already ferrying children to and from school. We'll let you know as soon as possible if we're not able to provide replacement buses.

During disruption, you can use your train ticket on Edinburgh Trams between Edinburgh Gateway station, Edinburgh Park, and Edinburgh city centre.

During disruption, you are welcome to use your train ticket to travel between Glasgow and Partick on the SPT Subway. And in turn SPT customers can use ScotRail trains when necessary.

We provide taxis in some circumstances, for example if a station can't be reached by bus or if there are only a small number of customers affected.

If your regular journey is disrupted you may be able to take another train route and your ticket will still be valid. Routes with alternative options include:

  • Edinburgh - Glasgow
  • Edinburgh/Glasgow - Aberdeen/Inverness

Get prepared for winter.

Our engineers and station staff work around the clock to keep Scotland's railway moving. Advance weather warnings trigger our response teams across the country.

Keep up to date before you travel and on the move with live travel updates:

On this website ScotRail app Twitter @ScotRail

How severe weather affect trains and tracks

  • Strong winds: when winds are forecast to hit 70mph and above, we have to put speed restrictions in place. It’s not safe to run trains if wind speeds reach 90mph
  • High waves: if there’s a risk of waves crashing over sea walls, we can't run trains in the area. Sea water can damage electrical systems and wash debris onto the line
  • Snow: Three tonnes of snow can gather under a train in a single day. Defrosting can take several hours - even when we’re using our pioneering polytunnels to speed things up

And when conditions settle, we have to check rail lines to make sure there’s no debris on the tracks - such as tree branches or sometimes trampolines or garden sheds!

What we're doing to keep you on track

We monitor weather overnight to make sure it's safe to run trains the next morning. And if weather forecasts mean we need to run fewer trains, we'll do our best to let you know by 16:00 the day before to help you plan ahead.

From our specialist £1m winter train to our fleet of ten snow ploughs, we're out on track as the snow falls clearing lines and maintaining vital infrastructure through the freezing nights.

In depots our engineers use specialist equipment to defrost our trains ready for the services ahead, while in the skies above our helicopter survey unit is busy inspecting the lines.

In stations too we're working hard, gritting platforms and car parks to make sure you can complete your journey.

And on our trains, we've improved heating and insulation to keep you warmer on chilly winter days.

Other useful information...

If you are delayed on one of our services for 30 minutes or more, you can claim for compensation through our Delay Repay guarantee

If you're on a train with a catering trolley and are delayed for 60 minutes or more, we'll also offer you complimentary non-alcoholic drinks until we run out. If you're at a station with catering facilities and are delayed for 60 minutes or more, we'll offer you complimentary non-alcoholic refreshments upon proof of your delay.

Find out more about our commitment to you during times of disruption:

The great Scottish weather...

Scotland's railway needs to be robust and resilient to severe weather conditions. We monitor weather forecasts five days ahead and begin planning for potential hazards that may occur.

If required, our Emergency Weather Action Team comes together, implementing measures to help reduce the impact of bad weather - for instance deploying snow ploughs, and removing fallen tree debris and other items from tracks or overhead wires.

During the most extreme conditions, we do our best to tell you the day before if a reduced timetable is likely to operate, to give you time to make alternative arrangements.