Scotland's transport minister has urged her UK counterpart to find the “political willing" to bring an end to the rail dispute causing mass disruption across the network, as bosses at ScotRail warned travellers that services will be impacted until Sunday.

Jenny Gilruth, Scotland’s transport minister, who herself came under pressure from critics for not doing enough to intervene in the ScotRail train drivers strike,  has written to Mr Shapps asking him to “seek a resolution to this dispute, as quickly as possible” as industrial action commenced on Tuesday.

About 40,000 railway owners  are taking part in strikes over a dispute with Network Rail with Network Rail - which owns the UK's rail tracks, stations and signals – over plans to axe hundreds of critical maintenance jobs, pay and conditions.

It's the biggest outbreak of industrial action in the industry in a generation.

Scotland has just five ScotRail services running on the days affected: two trains per hour on the Edinburgh to Glasgow via Falkirk High line, the Edinburgh-Bathgate line, the Glasgow to Hamilton/Larkhall line and the Glasgow to Lanark line, and one train an hour on the Edinburgh to Glasgow via Shotts service.

Cross-border services have also been hit by the strike.

It comes as an emergency timetable had alread cut ScotRail services by up to half due to staff shortages which have been in place across the Scottish network since the start of May as a result of a separate ScotRail dispute over pay with the train drivers union Aslef. An offer is due to be put to drivers.


In her letter to the Transport Secretary, Ms Gilruth said the efforts of railway staff during the pandemic should be acknowledged.

“Now is a time to recognise those efforts, not to punish workers,” she wrote, adding that the Scottish Government “will not support any reforms which seek to impose compulsory redundancies”.

She said: “Network Rail workers in Scotland and across the GB rail network have not received a pay rise in over two years. I am sure you will agree that is not an acceptable or a sustainable position.”

The Mid Fife and Glenrothes MSP also reiterated calls from the Scottish Government for a full devolution of rail powers, before telling Mr Shapps: “A resolution to this dispute is possible, but you will require to inject the political willing which has, thus far, clearly been lacking.”

It came as ScotRail warned disruption will continue until Sunday.

Ms Gilruth has previously been accused by criticis of mismanagement over the Aslef pay dispute - which has crippled ScotRail services since the start of May.

Opposition MSP had accused her of "abdicating her responsibiity" by refusing to get involved in the pay dispute.

Several concerts taking place in Scotland this week are set to be impacted by both the disruptions and timings of last trains, including Wednesday’s Eagles gig at Murrayfield Stadium in Edinburgh and Liam Gallagher at Hampden Stadium in Glasgow on Sunday.

Biffy Clyro is set to headline at the Royal Highland Centre in Edinburgh on Saturday, Barry Manilow’s concert at the Hydro in Glasgow and Phoebe Bridgers’ Barrowlands gig – both taking place on Thursday – will also be affected.

Just a handful of passengers waited for trains at Glasgow’s Queen Street station and Central Station on Tuesday.

ScotRail has warned people that disruption caused by the RMT strike will continue until Sunday.

That is because on the days following strike action because signal boxes - critical to ensure taht the railway can operate safely - will be re-opening at different times throughout the day in the aftermath of the stoppage.