Fed-up Fifers may have to wait until the end of the year before seeing more carriages on peak-time trains.

Gasps were heard across the room as ScotRail boss Alex Hynes made the revelation at a packed out public meeting last night (Thursday) at Kirkcaldy Town House.

For months the train operator - run by Abellio - has been promising significant improvements to the Fife Circle, as highlighted in our Crush Hour campaign.

Their plan is to redeploy existing Class 170 trains to Fife and the Borders once the new Class 385 and Inter7City trains are in service between Glasgow and Edinburgh.

In Fife it will mean more peak-time trains formed of six carriages and off peak services will generally consist of three carriages.

My Hynes insisted that his team were working "flat out" to improve the rail services in Fife but he couldn't give a guarantee as to when we will see extra seats for passengers.

He believes May will see longer trains on off-peak services but admitted it could be December before more carriages are on peak services.

When addressing passengers who demanded a better service, Mr Hynes, said: "We’ve let you down and we are very sorry.

“When it doesn’t work we inconvenience people’s lives and we understand the strength of feeling in the room.

"My team and I are very passionate about fixing your rail service. The standard of service has fallen way beneath the standard we aim to provide.

"Making life very difficult for our customers. Quite rightly we are being held to account. We have a solution and it’s our job to fix it as fast as we can."

Passengers were quick to vent their frustrations throughout the meeting about cancellations, delays, stop skipping and overcrowding.

Calls were made to reduce fares in Fife and fears were broadcast about safety issues on services - with many condemning packed trains as "unacceptable".

Ironically, it emerged that the 1716 service from Edinburgh to Fife that night had been cancelled due to a shortage of staff.

Mr Hynes told the Press that he had travelled to Kirkcaldy on the Fife Circle line and had witnessed for himself the overcrowded conditions on a "standing room only" service.

Describing the issues that had led to this mess, he said that union strikes had been part of the problem, but they had been "badly let down" by Hitachi, who are supplying ScotRail's new trains that are now 18 months late.

An audience member told the ScotRail boss: "It's not enough to do a PR stunt, we want action."

She then demanded he come back in six months’ time and show that progress has been made.

Lesley Laird, the Kirkcaldy and Cowdenbeath MP who organised the meeting, was met with applause when she concluded: "I think it’s fair to say we’ve got more questions than answers.

"There’s a number of key points about health and safety, the delivery plan for when the services will improve, the fares we pay and what can be done to address that now.

"I will be pressing these points, in terms of the immediate issues which can be addressed.

“I think the time for talking has passed, it’s now time for action."