PROTESTORS will gather at Glasgow Central Station today to demand Abellio is stripped of the ScotRail contract after the operator admitted travel disruption would continue "for the forseeable future".

The demonstration, organised by the TSSA rail union, is urging the Scottish Government to take action following months of cancellations and delays that have hit trains north of the Border.

READ MORE: Misery for Scotrail commuters as they return to work 

No cancellations are expected during this morning's rush-hour as thousands of people return to work after the festive period. However, ScotRail said last night that a handful of services later today faced being axed. It was unable to

specify which trains would be affected.

Last month, the operator was ordered by the Scottish Government to submit a plan for how it will address falling performance levels after extensive disruption when a new timetable came into force.

ScotRail Alliance managing director Alex Hynes has already apologised to passengers for the "unacceptable service", saying: "We are working flat out to train conductors and drivers so we can return services to normal.

"Since December 9 we have trained 60 drivers and conductors, which is good progress, although we know we need to do more But training will still take several weeks and that means disruption will be ongoing for the foreseeable future."

TSSA volunteers and other campaigners said they would gather at Central Station this morning.

Union leader leader Manuel Cortes said: "Passengers are rightly angry at the way ScotRail has let them down.

"Blame belongs with Abellio and its team of senior managers. Poor planning, deliberate under-staffing of the railway and trying to do things on the cheap are not the fault of our members, who do their best in tough circumstances.

"But ScotRail also fails because of the systemic problems visited on it by the now beyond-broken experiment with privatisation of our rail companies and rolling stock."

Mr Cortes also criticised Transport Secretary Michael Matheson, claiming he had "reneged on his predecessor Humza Yousaf's willingness to break the Abellio franchise this March".

Mr Cortes added: "When there could have been light at the end of the tunnel after months of misery, Mr Matheson has done no more than ask Abellio for yet another plan that will take two months to arrive before anything gets done.

"Under public ownership not only could ticket prices come down but investment in rolling stock and staff would go up. A publicly-owned ScotRail would reinvest the profits back into running the railway."

A Government spokesman said: "Rail remains a reserved matter under the Scotland Act. Until this changes, we cannot consider the full range of options for running the railways in Scotland in a way that best suits our passengers, freight providers and communities.

"That is why we are again calling on the UK Government, through its rail review, to devolve all rail matters to the Scottish ministers. Anyone with a genuine interest in improving our railways should get behind this.

"Unique in the UK, the Scottish Government has secured powers to accept bids for future rail franchises in Scotland from public sector organisations through the Scotland Act 2016.

"This was after repeatedly being denied that right by successive Labour and Conservative governments."

Scottish Labour said it would have campaigners joining union members at today's demonstration. MSP Colin Smyth, the party's transport spokesman, said: "It's time to hit the brakes on rail privatisation. Hard-pressed passengers have just seen a rip-off fare rise following months of poor service, with late running,

overcrowded trains."

"The SNP claimed this was a world-leading deal, but it's clear that more and more people are being persuaded by Labour's plans for public ownership. That's why all across Scotland our activists will be out at local train stations with a clear and simple message - Labour will take our railways back into public hands."