The North Berwick Service
Whilst RAGES main aim is the re-instatement of the local service between Edinburgh and Berwick, we maintain a watchful eye on the North Berwick services now run by Abellio and will take any action that appears necessary.
Many of the services are overcrowded at peak times which has been raised both in the press and by RAGES at our open meeting.
ScotRail are now using
six-carriage trains as part of a driver-training programme which started
on 20th February 2017 for three months to try to help commuters.
However, they have warned it will be a short-term solution for the ongoing issues, with the first of the new trains, seen as the final solution for overcrowding, not expected to be introduced in East Lothian until December 2018.
On 25 July 2016, RAGES hosted an open meeting in Prestonpans Town Hall having invited Mr Phil Verster, Managing Director of ScotRail Alliance, to discuss the current and future operation of the Edinburgh to North Berwick and Dunbar service and the future service to Berwick.
Around 30 people attended when there was a good discussion about all aspects of the service.
Mr Verster took away many points to be answered and
when available, notes of the meeting and ScotRail's answers will be
published in the next Rages Rag.
When RAGES was formed, class 305 EMUs were employed on the service. In June 2000, the North Berwick service became half-hourly on Saturdays. In March 2001, RAGES invited the then MD of ScotRail, Alastair McPherson, to an open meeting in Longniddry to discuss the state of the service. This is reported in The Rages Rag issue 9. When the 305s were withdrawn in 2001, they had had over 40 years service in various parts of the UK.
In 2001 class 322 EMUs were employed, allowing the elderly 305s to retire. The 322s had come available from the Stanstead Airport service, where they had been since 1991. In November 2003, extra evening trains were introduced on Sundays.
The class 322 deployment was interrupted by
loco-hauled trains consisting of a
class 90 electric locomotive with four ex-Virgin mark 3 standard class coaches and a driving van trailer (DVT). These started on the service in May 2004. RAGES were invited to a visit to Polmadie where the trains were being prepared. This is reported in a limited colour edition of The Rages Rag.
The 322s returned in August 2005. In 2006, a re-furbishment program was announced for the 322s. They continued on the service until June 2011 when the class 380s arrived.