A PEAK-TIME train leaving Edinburgh for West Fife was so packed that by the time it reached Haymarket - the first stop - no more passengers could get on.

MSP Alex Rowley witnessed frustrated commuters being left on the platform and said it's a common occurrence on the Fife Circle that needs vast improvements.

Ministers have confirmed the railway line is the next to be electrified but he wants more carriages and the removal of a "tax on workers" to provide some current relief.

Mr Rowley said: “It would seem that the electrification of the Fife Circle is some years away but I am pushing for a timetable so that we know what the government is working towards.

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"The rolling stock currently used in Fife must be, in the meantime, updated to ensure a good quality service and we need more carriages on at peak times so no one is left standing on platforms unable to get on packed trains, as I have witnessed in recent weeks.

Dunfermline Press: There have been complaints about a lack of carriages on the Fife Circle for years. There have been complaints about a lack of carriages on the Fife Circle for years. (Image: Newsquest)

“I am pushing the government to make the removal of peak time fares permanent as I see these fares as a tax on workers and if we are serious about getting people to leave the car and use public transport then we must do more to make public transport accessible, affordable and reliable.

"This means we must have an improvement to the current rail stock that services Fife."

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In response to a written question from Mr Rowley about the need for rail improvements in the Kingdom, the transport secretary, Fiona Hyslop, said: "It is expected this will be one of the next parts of the Scottish network to be decarbonised, after the current work to electrify the East Kilbride line.

"The scope of the work in Fife will be developed and appraised alongside consideration of new battery-electric trains.”

Asked about a replacement train programme for the Kingdom, the minister responded: "The replacement of the rail fleet is a priority for the Scottish Government.

"It is clear that the more we electrify, the more trains will be released that can support the current Fife system.

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"However, I am also conscious of the need to develop the decarbonised Fife route.”

Ms Hyslop added: “In the meantime, maintenance is really important.

"The recruitment of an additional 20 to 40 engineers has been helping the network generally, and Fife in particular.

"Alex Rowley is probably more interested in the longer term. I will keep him apprised of that.”