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 be 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.

When you travel with us, if things don’t go to plan, you need the best information as quickly as possible.

Our customers tell us that there are things we could do better when things go wrong - and other operators across the industry are hearing this too.

That's why we have been working really closely with other operators, Network Rail and the Rail Delivery Group as part of the rail industry’s ‘Smarter Information, Smarter Journeys Programme’. This programme aims to achieve a step-change in customer experience through the provision of better customer information, and by providing customers with all the information they want, when, and how they want it.

We have now agreed on a set of pledges which outline what good looks like, and what customers can expect before, during and after their journey by train.

What do the Customer Information Pledges say?

The Customer Information Pledges:

  • show that we care by putting our customers’ needs first
  • commit to a set of guiding principles that will bring real consistency to the information we provide to customers when they choose to travel by train
  • allow for enough flexibility across the network to ensure we meet all customers’ needs, which might be slightly different locally, whilst still maintaining consistency across the industry
  • bring together good practice from across the railway - and other industries - to support customers during disruption and get them where they need to be as quickly as possible.

Download the Customer Information Pledges

What are our plans?

During the first half of 2022, we will begin to use this area of our website to share our plans for the delivery of these Customer Information Pledges to you on our network.

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...

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.