Direct Glasgow rail service saved but it’s ‘end of an era’

Direct train services between Carrick and Glasgow will be retained following discussions with incoming train operator Abellio.

Abellio were due to all but axe direct services on the Stranraer line to Glasgow in the winter timetable but have now agreed to run six direct trains, two going northbound and four southbound, albeit via Kilmarnock.

The trains will depart Stranraer at 7.02am and 4.58pm with services from Glasgow departing at 08.07, 14.12, 16.12 and 22.12, though the latter two will not run on Saturdays and there will be no direct service on a Sunday.

SNP MSP Aileen MacLeod said: “I am delighted that six direct services between Stranraer and Glasgow will now be retained.

“This is excellent news for the Stranraer line and the town itself.”

However, Richard Carr of community rail partnership group SAYLSA said: “Whilst having some through facility is better than nothing, given that a journey time of 2 hours 9 minutes is possible now, replacing it with journeys that take over half an hour longer is hardly progress. This is a short term approach with longer term disbenefits and with the roll out of electrification it may only be a matter of time before the subject will reappear on the agenda again.

“The decision to axe through services via Paisley will mean the end of an era and the end of any hope of conveying ferry passengers by rail probably for ever, essentially relegating the line to a branch line after 138 years.

“Now the die is cast the Partnership will endeavour as always to promote the rail option, sadly some will think it has become a little less attractive for journeys to the Central Belt and beyond.”