TIMETABLE changes mean a Fife Circle line service will now take only a minute less to make it to the capital than a fast train travelling from Edinburgh to Glasgow.

Major timetable changes which start on Sunday are supposed to bring more seats and faster journeys but it seems for West Fifers, things will only get slower.

It appears that the current 08:43 service from Dalgety Bay to Edinburgh, which arrives at 09:17, will be replaced by a service departing Dalgety Bay at 09:01, arriving in Edinburgh at 09:42.

That’s seven minutes longer than normal and means passengers are travelling at a snail's pace average 20 mph over the 41-minute journey, covering just 14 miles.

In comparison, it takes 42 minutes to travel on the fast train on the Edinburgh to Glasgow line, around a 50-mile commute.

MSP Annabelle Ewing has hit out at ScotRail following the timetable changes and has written to Alex Hynes, managing director of the train operator.

However, ScotRail said they knew the timetable changes wouldn’t suit everyone. 

Speaking about the slow service from Dalgety Bay, Ms Ewing said: “Not only is this service now 18 minutes later in departing, the journey time is seven minutes longer.

“That increase means that it will take 41 minutes to travel 14 miles.

“So, commuters from Dalgety Bay – and Kinghorn, Burntisland and Aberdour – can no longer get a train to arrive in Edinburgh before 09:30, unless they leave 30 minutes earlier and travel on the peak 08:15 service from Dalgety Bay, further adding to the numbers on what is already a very busy service.

“On closer inspection of the timetables, it seems that, immediately after it leaves Dalgety Bay, the 09:01 train will be held north of Inverkeithing to allow an Aberdeen to Edinburgh service to pass.

“That seems to sum up ScotRail’s attitude to the Fife Circle – shunt it into a siding!

“At a time when Fife commuters are crying out for the Fife Circle service to be improved, the changes ScotRail are bringing in will make this important commuter journey later, longer and less useful.”

Commuters on the other side of the line will also see their journey time on a peak service increased by 34 per cent.

The new timetable increases the 08:17 Rosyth to Haymarket trip by 10 minutes. Now it will arrive at 08:56 instead of 08:46.

ScotRail say some adjustments to the timetable are being made to allow for faster InterCity journeys to be possible. 

The Dalgety Bay train referred to is a relatively quiet service, with passenger numbers of around 60-70 travelling from Inverkeithing onward.

They added that customers in Fife would see significant benefits later in the year. 

They insist longer trains will add more than 5,000 additional seats each day and improvements will be delivered later this year but are still dependant on the final delivery of the new trains.

A ScotRail spokesperson said: “We’re running more trains across Scotland than ever before, and the unprecedented investment in new trains and infrastructure is delivering more seats and faster journeys for customers.
“We understand that these changes may not suit everyone but the May timetable is being introduced to improve services for as many passengers as possible.”