ROB Kelly (Letters, February 12) has a go at ScotRail for its unpunctuality and cancellations on the Milngavie branch. He has very good grounds for complaint but, unfortunately, there is little ScotRail can do about it. The track layout is at fault and Network Rail has inherited this problem.

There have been operational constraints on the branch since British Rail’s track rationalisation programme of the 1970s. The original double line between the main line at Westerton and Milngavie terminus was reduced at that time to only a small section between Bearsden and Hillfoot where trains can pass each other. This was fine for the then-half-hourly interval service but it cannot cope with the present four trains per hour unless everything goes exactly according to plan. There is no margin for error.

I travel on the branch myself quite often and witness the operational problems. On numerous occasions my train has left Milngavie on time but has had to wait at Bearsden for a late-running Milngavie-bound train. My now late-running train then has a knock-on effect on the rest of the timetable as it has lost its designated timetable path.

Other than reducing the frequency to half-hourly, the only solution would be the restoration of the double line on the whole branch, including the junction itself at Westerton. This would also allow the building of the oft-discussed new station between Hillfoot and Milngavie to serve new housing in that area. Until that takes place, late-running and cancellations will continue. No change of train operator will make any difference.

Dave Stewart,

6 Blairatholl Avenue, Glasgow.