ONE of the reasons for the railway disruption last weekend (“Anger as festival and rugby travellers hit by trains chaos”, The Herald, August 26) was a rugby international at Murrayfield coinciding with the final weekend of the Edinburgh Festival and Fringe.

It brought considerable grief to ScotRail in that it confirmed that it has no capacity to deal with such an huge influx of passengers. Provision of stock and manning of services are now absolutely finite for all intents and purposes.There is little or no room for “extras.”

Such is now the order of things. The days when additional services could be provided at the drop of a hat, as it were, are long gone.

In the 1960’s, I (a coaching rolling stock controller) and others who worked for British Railways could be called at short notice to arrange and provide resources when, for example, there was a situation such as the one we saw last weekend in Edinburgh.

We could also do likewise down to the coast when day-trippers suddenly took advantage of the sunshine, or even further afield, such as Scarborough or Blackpool, when holidaymakers threatened to overwhelm even additional services.

It is pointless castigating Abellio ScotRail. An operator by any other name would now fare the same.

John Macnab, Laurieston, Falkirk

I TRAVELLED home from Edinburgh on the 9.03pm on Saturday which set out on time for its Dunblane destination. It had a very large combination of coaches, as was sensible for the numbers travelling from the Capital.

Realising where seats were likely to be available, I went to the furthest forward coach in good time.

What happened thereafter was not the fault of Scotrail or the train staff, least of all the driver.

As we approached Linlithgow the train slowed down and stopped. The announcement, which was clear enough in our compartment, indicated that there had been interference with a door in the train ahead, and nothing could move up the line until that was identified and sorted for the safety of the passengers.

We sat for a fair time and three passengers from the other carriages came to the front to ask the driver what was happening.

Two were perfectly reasonable, the third was loud and offensive, beating the cabin door and berating the driver for not getting on with his job. He was of the opinion that the driver should just get on with it and ignore the signal.

Indeed, the driver did well to keep himself calm. It appeared that so many raised voices where talking and shouting further along the train that passengers did not hear why it had stopped.

It didn’t help that the person who damaged the first train door set in process a number of very annoying consequences. The train stopped at Stirling and did not go to Dunblane.

The train to Alloa sat in the station for 20 minutes before the announcement that it, too, had been cancelled. Working people have homes to go to as well.

Then it was apparently the fault of the Stirling station staff that people were arguing about how they would solve the problem of getting home to Perth and other destinations.

What can rail staff do if one impetuous person damages a train and health and safety is put at risk? I felt more concerned for the staff’s blood pressure than for the folk who would not listen to reason.

Yes, I was inconvenienced by two additional hours of travel. But a sliver of consideration for the staff would have helped everyone.

It also struck me that had it been football fans who had caused the problem, newspaper headlines would have formed a different focus.

Gerry Docherty,

Tillicoultry