Changes could mean no more steam

NEXT week’s steam special to Stranraer due in Girvan at 12.30pm on Wednesday (April 25) may be the last ever steam train on the line if issues cannot be resolved with the Scottish rail authorities.

Community transport association, SAYLSA, says it understands that problems with arriving and terminating the Great Britain V rail tour at obscure suburban stations in Glasgow is causing the promoter increased cost and hundreds of passengers inconvenience because the tour cannot access either Glasgow Queen Street or Central stations at appropriate times to run certain sectors of this annual event.

To compound the issue proposed new train times that would be introduced in December will make journey times to Glasgow longer for passengers who want to use the direct services. Currently the diesel services could run to Glasgow from Ayr in 48 minutes but proposals under consideration by the Regional Transport Partnerships will see this increase to over an hour in certain cases.

There is also real concern that the operation of charter trains will become all but impossible except on a Sunday, as there will be no free space on the timetable to permit them to run.

Peter Jeal for SAYLSA said, “A balance needs to be struck between the needs of places like Dalry and passengers further south.

“There has to be real concern now that once again we have decisions being made in the interests of the Central Belt and southwest Scotland is ignored. It wouldn’t be allowed in the Highlands and shouldn’t be allowed here.”

SAYLSA plan to raise these concerns through the appropriate channels.

If you are planning on seeing the train, photographers are asked to take care, not encroach onto the track and be sympathetic to others who wish to take photographs or videos.