Because expectations have become so lowered, many passengers who fall victim of delayed or cancelled trains, do not claim compensation or a refund. Instead, they shrug, mutter about ScotRail while apologising to their waiting employer, or friend, or spouse, and get on with their day.

So Lib Dem MSP Mike Rumbles is almost certainly correct when he claims that the 65,000 refunds issued by the train operator in the last nine months is an underestimate.

It is a really heroic level of underperformance, the worst figures since the company took on the franchise.

While passengers can sympathise over images posted on Twitter during this week’s storms of overhead wires sparking as they are struck by waves near Saltcoats, or flooded rails near Kirkconnel, they are less impressed with cancellations due to the summer heatwave, still less with unspecified staffing issues, or train failures.

The weather can conspire against any franchise-holder. Meanwhile we know too that signal failures are probably the fault of Network Rail, which has been threatened with fines for its role in delays.

And when all of this is combined with price rises, regular travellers are entitled to feel aggrieved.

The Scottish Government has capped fare increases at one per cent below inflation, which is welcome. Nicola Sturgeon yesterday insisted around half of all performance failures are caused by Network Rail, which is managed by the UK Government.

Many would like to see train operations nationalised, but Network Rail’s problems are a reminder that this is unlikely to be a panacea. Yet the buck-passing between governments and rail companies shows exactly why many customers feel privatisation has not served us well.

Penalties for underperformance and refunds for passengers are meant to incentivise all rail companies to do better. The system isn’t working. A solution must be found. All the public want is for the trains to be reliable.