STATE-CONTROLLED ScotRail cancelled or curtailed more than 60 train trips due to driver shortages on the day over a third of services were scrapped "to give greater certainty" to the public.

The nationalised service cut 700 services a day from the timetable from yesterday due to a lack of drivers - while an average of 120 a day were cancelled during the previous 15 days of rail chaos with problems blamed on an industrial dispute over pay.

But as the cuts came in, it did not stop the driver shortage cancellations - with at least a dozen rail services listed as cancelled and around 50 more suffering cuts to the number of carriages - despite transport minister Jenny Gilruth claiming the new 'temporary' timetable would give passengers “a more stable and reliable service”.

Before the 'temporary' timetable came in around 1800 last-minute cancellations hit the old timetable because of the driver shortages brought about by a pay dispute that has led to some working to rule by not working rest days and Sundays.

Hundreds more services were hit by cuts to train carriages meaning they held fewer passengers and leading to complaints that they were too full.

At the weekend the Herald revealed that union leaders warned that plans to bring in 130 new train drivers will not end a staff shortage which led to cancellations and the timetable cuts.

The transport minister has previously stated that there were plans to end the reliance on rest day working, including Sundays to keep Scotland’s trains on the tracks - with 130 drivers in the pipeline.

One senior union official said that if ministers think the recruitment will eradicate rest day working “then they are living on planet Mars”.

Among services that were customers were informed were cancelled on Monday was the Edinburgh to Glasgow commuter train leaving at 8am.

Also out was the 8am from East Kilbride to Glasgow, the 9.18am from Glasgow to Edinburgh, the West Highland Line's 12.11pm service from Oban to Crianlarich and the 1.53pm journey from Glasgow to Largs along with the return trip. Also off was the 6.23pm from Glasgow Queen Street to Oban, and the 7.200m from Edinburgh to Glenrothes.

Customers were told that the 2pm and 4.01pm from Edinburgh to Dundee and the 4.38pm and 5.40pm from Dundee to Edinburgh were also cancelled - but at least two were reinstated later in the day.

ScotRail was faced with a host of complaints from the general public over the introduction of the cuts yesterday.

One of them came from Richard Jezek from Johnstone in Renfrewshire who said: "Your new timetable is absolutely useless.

First Minister of Scotland Nicola Sturgeon with Alex Hynes, managing director of Scotland's Railway unveiled a specially branded train at Glasgow Queen Street as ScotRail transferred from Dutch firm Abellio into public ownership

"My morning two trains are gone and then you have one train with three carriages. Can you imagine how many people travel to work, school or college? Not mentioned [is] there is no connection between trains, when I change trains. For example when I am traveling from Johnstone to Greenock, I have to wait in Paisley over half hour, if I am lucky. You should start working on your problem with drivers."

The main train drivers’ union urged the First Minister to intervene in the dispute.

The union Aslef has been in deadlock with ScotRail and called for her to provide "positive political intervention" to force ScotRail back to then negotiating table.

Drivers rejected an offer of a 2.2% increase, with the option for a revenue share agreement which would take the total package to 7%.

Kevin Lindsay, the union’s Scotland organiser, told Ms Sturgeon that despite being “delighted” with the nationalisation of ScotRail, the early steps have been “hugely detrimental” to the organisation’s vision of rail services.

He wrote: “Pay negotiations have been shambolic, the timetable has been slashed by one third, the economy is suffering and passengers and communities are left isolated.

“All of this is happening at a time when we should be encouraging people to leave their cars at home and meet our climate targets.

“First Minister, the way hard-working, committed and skilled rail staff are being treated is appalling. The pay award being offered is just not credible.”

At a time when inflation is nearing 10%, Mr Lindsay said the 2.2% offer is a “real terms pay cut”.

He added: “It is neither fair nor reasonable to expect train drivers, or indeed any worker, to accept such a cut in their pay at the same time as their cost-of-living is soaring.”

And he hit out at comments from Employment Minister Richard Lochhead who said workers had to be “sensible” in seeking a pay rise.

He said that calls from the transport minister for unions to engage with ScotRail were “factually incorrect”.

“We have repeatedly said we are prepared to talk anytime, any place, anywhere, yet this offer continues to be ignored by ScotRail management,” he said.

“The language and behaviour of Scottish ministers have too often been inflammatory, unreasonable and factually incorrect."

The union also condemned "reckless" social media posts by ScotRail blaming train drivers for reduction of services.

It warne that in the event of anyone being abused or assaulted as a result "we may have to take further action".

The union has called for the immediate withdrawal of the posts or the resignation of ScotRail management and Ms Gilruth as transport minister.

The timetable cuts have come just over seven weeks after ScotRail was taken into public ownership by the Scottish Government in what ministers hailed a “historic” move after being critical of the performance of Dutch state transport firm Abellio.

The swingeing rail cuts in Scotland have been criticised as the worst seen in a generation.

Mr Lindsay added: “There is also a complete lack of transparency around the backroom, negative role being played by ministers and officials in your Government."

“We urgently need to see progress and de-escalation of this situation. The Scottish public demand it.”

Ms Gilruth earlier said that both sides needed to “compromise” on the dispute.

And ScotRail service delivery director David Simpson said that the union’s demands were “unsustainable”.

Aslef also echoed concerns from the National Union of Rail, Maritime and Transport (RMT) revealed in the Herald on Sunday that the plans for 130 new drivers would not resolve any staffing shortages that have become the catalyst for the cancellations and cuts.

One senior RMT union official said that if ministers think the recruitment will eradicate rest day working “then they are living on planet Mars”.

Aslef claimed the cuts have gone deeper than the driver shortage, saying there has been a 30% cut to services despite there being only a 20% shortfall in drivers if they decide to not work overtime or rest days.

He said the outcome of this is drivers "sitting in their depot mess halls" instead of driving trains.

The Scottish Liberal Democrats accused the transport minister of "sitting on the sidelines" as the first day of rail cancellations hit.

They were concerned that Ms Gilruth had repeatedly stated that she was not involved in negotiations over pay and failed to confirm that extra trains would be available for major events such as Scotland's forthcoming World Cup qualifier and the Edinburgh Festival.

Scottish Liberal Democrat transport spokesperson Jill Reilly said: "Not only are these cancellations, hurting cultural industries and aggravating commuters, they are forcing more and more people back into cars.

"If we want people to travel by rail it needs to be convenient and reliable. At the moment it's neither and the blame for that lies with the Scottish Government. Scottish Liberal Democrats are clear that to tackle the climate emergency we need more people to use the most environmentally friendly form of mass transportation. Instead the SNP have taken just two months to take us back to the seventies."

Last week the transport minister described the practice of rest day working as “outdated” and that the Scottish Government was looking to phase it out.

She also said ScotRail would not have to rely on it when the delayed driver training has been completed and that this was expected to take a few months.

But ministers have confirmed that the vast majority of a new batch of 130 drivers will not be trained up by the end of this year.

Of 130 would-be drivers that are in the system, 38 drivers were expected to be trained by the end of the summer, rising to 55 by the end of the year and to 100 by June 2023. It is estimated it takes a minimum of 18 months to train up a driver.

Scottish Conservatives feared that meant that cuts revealed in a new “temporary” timetable will remain in place in 2024 because of the delay in training.

The Scottish Government transport agency Transport Scotland passed inquiries on the continuing driver shortage issues to ScotRail.

Asked about the problem, a ScotRail spokesman said: "Cancellations are normal on any given day on the rail network. These are caused by among other things, operational reasons such as signalling issues, debris on the tracks, weather related issues and staff sickness.

"As of mid-afternoon we have had 21 cancellations."

ScotRail is reliant on drivers doing overtime to work on normal rest days to keep trains running. Unions say the service is run on a six-day per week basis with Sunday not classed as a working day. The train drivers union Aslef argued the ScotRail system has always been "understaffed" and that working rest days and Sundays was optional.

David Simpson, ScotRail service delivery director, said: “The temporary timetable only came into operation today and it’s not possible to say how long it will be in place.

“We’re keen to resolve the dispute as soon as possible and the timetable will operate for as long as it needs to in order to provide a dependable service to our customers.

“There will be a review of the timetable and if we’re able to return it back to normal, or make improvements, we’ll make sure we advise customers through our usual channels, the website, our mobile app, and social media.

“We’re sorry to our customers for the disruption they’ve faced, and we share their frustration.”