This winter, we’ve got you covered

Whatever the weather, we’re here to help keep you moving, safe and informed

During the cold months, severe weather conditions can impact both our trains and their tracks.

We’ll do everything we can to get you to your destination. If we can’t get you there by train, we’ll organise alternative transport to get you where you’re going.

What we're doing

Over recent years, we’ve done our best to become more resilient and keep as many services running as possible during bad weather.

  • Our advance weather warnings trigger response teams across the country
  • Most ScotRail colleagues have smartphones so they can pass on travel advice on the go
  • We’ve improved heating and insulation on trains to keep you warmer on chilly winter days
  • Dedicated teams are on standby to clear and de-ice station carparks and walkways
  • We work through the night to monitor weather and make sure it’s safe to run trains in the morning
  • If weather forecasts mean we need to run less trains, we’ll do our best to let you know by 4pm the day before so you can change your plans if need be

How you can stay prepared

  • Download our app to your mobile so you can track your train in real time and see when other services are due to run
  • Follow us on Twitter @ScotRail
  • View live updates on our website
  • Check our information screens on station platforms and in ticket offices
  • Listen out for announcements over the tannoy system
  • HelpPoints on station platforms link you directly to our customer service team. Simply press the button to connect to someone
  • You can always ask our customer service staff at stations too

Alternative transport

When disruption happens, 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.

We'll let you know which transport is available by making station announcements, posting alerts on social media and live updates on our website and app.

Bus operator Routes
Central
First Glasgow First Glasgow routes east of Dalmuir. Some routes won't accept rail tickets during the morning or evening peak (07:00-09:00 & 15:00-18:00)
Glasgow Citybus (West Coast Motors) Glasgow - Milngavie
Stagecoach Stirling - Bridge of Allan - Dunblane
First East Dunblane - Stirling - Linlithgow - Edinburgh
Fauldhouse - Bathgate - Edinburgh
Bathgate - Falkirk
Lothian Buses All Lothian bus routes to/from Edinburgh (excluding Lothian Country Buses)
McGills Inverclyde area - Paisley
Whitelaws Larkhall - Motherwell
East
Borders Buses Tweedbank - Edinburgh
Lothian Buses All Lothian bus routes to/from Edinburgh
Perrymans Edinburgh - Dunbar
Stagecoach East Fife Circle: Inverkeithing - Burntisland - Leuchars - Dunfermline
Markinch - Dundee - Invergowrie
​Broughty Ferry - Montrose
North
First Aberdeen Aberdeen - Dyce
Stagecoach North Montrose - Aberdeen
​Aberdeen - Inverurie - Inverness (not Dyce or Insch)
Inverness - Wick/Thurso

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

Money back if your train is delayed

If you’re travelling with us and your journey is delayed by 30 minutes or more, we’ll give you compensation – that’s our Delay Repay guarantee. If you happen to miss a connection because of a delayed ScotRail train you can claim for that too. Just remember to make the claim within 28 days.

Save the hassle with Smartcard

In this weather, you’ll want to keep the waiting around to a minimum. With Smartcard, you can buy tickets online, skip the queues and glide through the gates. You’ll even get access to some pretty nifty rewards. Find out more

  • When winds are forecast to hit 70mph and above, trains will be subject to speed restrictions to keep you safe
  • If wind speeds reach 90mph, services in affected areas must be suspended. It’s not safe to run trains in such conditions.
  • When the weather settles, rail lines must be checked to make sure there’s no debris on the tracks, such as tree branches or even trampolines or garden sheds!
  • When there’s a risk of waves crashing over sea walls, trains cannot run due to the risk of water affecting electrical systems and washing debris onto the line. Overhead lines may also be damaged by sea water.
  • Three tonnes of snow can gather under a train in a single day. This snow often forms a large block of ice.
  • Defrosting can take several hours – even when we’re using our pioneering polytunnels to speed things up