HUNDREDS of rail passengers were stranded at Edinburgh stations as they tried to get back to Fife on Saturday.

Cancellations and delays hit the Fife Circle line most of the day which saw Scotland's World Cup warm-up match with France at Murrayfield fall on the last weekend of the Edinburgh Festival.

Some waited hours to get home but saw empty trains go past them because there was no staff to operate them.

ScotRail's mismanagement has been labelled a "disgrace" by West Fifers and politicians alike.

Dunfermline's Stewart Hutton enjoyed a day out at the rugby before heading for the train from Haymarket at 7.40pm.

He didn't arrive at Inverkeithing until 10pm.

"There must have been anything from 100 to 200 people on the platform at 8pm," he explained.

"The only train I saw going to West Fife was too full to let anyone on it.

"The only six-carriage train I saw the whole time was the train I eventually boarded.

"What got me is everybody I spoke to said they wouldn't even bother complaining because it wouldn't make a difference."

Stewart said problems on the railway were not new but that Saturday saw particularly poor conditions for passengers and wants West Fife politicians to do more than say a few words every time chaos unfolds.

"It was clear that extra police and customer service staff were brought in but it didn't matter because they didn't have enough drivers or conductors," he added.

"I don't know who is a keeping a record of it all and where the accountability is?

"Politicians are quick to say something to get their name out there but they're not actually doing anything on the ground.

"They're all making noise but allowing the situation to get worse and worse.

"It should be a very straightforward thing to run a railway. People have been doing it for 150 years.

"Any excuse seems to do but there was no excuse for Saturday."

Dunfermline MSP Shirley-Anne Somerville said: "The chaos on Fife-bound trains at the weekend was ridiculous.

"ScotRail have failed their customers in not adequately planning for higher passenger numbers.

"They have unquestionably compromised the safety of passengers by running overcrowded services.

"I have written to the Cabinet Secretary for Transport asking for him to ensure that ScotRail are held accountable for their latest failure."

Shambolic Abellio should be stripped of their franchise following the weekend rail chaos, according to Mid Scotland and Fife MSP Claire Baker.

She said: "The additional demands on services related to the rugby at Murrayfield and the final weekend of the Fringe were entirely foreseeable but ScotRail was unable to plan to meet this.

"The Scottish Government needs to take action and strip Abellio of its contract."

Cabinet Secretary for Transport, Infrastructure and Connectivity, Michael Matheson, said: "ScotRail planned for and delivered a significant increase in capacity for this year’s Edinburgh International Festival (EIF).

"Over the course of the festival, this was well-received, however, the events of Saturday evening were a serious failure.

"The overcrowding levels experienced gave rise to serious crowd management and staffing issues.

"ScotRail has publicly apologised and committed to a wholesale review.

"A ScotRail Alliance Incident Learning Review will take place early this week, the results of which will be shared with myself and Transport Scotland.

"I am taking this matter very seriously and have been quite clear, including direct conversation with ScotRail’s senior management team, that Saturday’s incidents are unacceptable.

"As all available trains were being used, this would indicate that there is also a wider question about event planning giving rise to such exceptional numbers and lessons must be learned going forward, particularly for such high-profile international events."

A ScotRail spokesperson said: "We are sorry to everyone who had to endure some unpleasant conditions both at Edinburgh Waverley station and on the trains themselves.

"We are now undertaking a full review of Saturday night’s events to find out exactly what went wrong, and learn any lessons to ensure we do better in future."