SCOTRAIL has agreed to look at introducing additional services on its under-fire North Berwick to Edinburgh line after East Lothian Council urged them to take action.
Problems on the line have been reported in the Courier for several months as peak hour services were unable to cope with the demand.
Passengers dubbed the service the ‘sardine train’ as they squeezed on, and commuters at Wallyford and Musselburgh Railway Stations were regularly left on the platform because the carriages were too full when they reached them.
ScotRail had said there was nothing it could do to improve the service until its new electric trains, which are due to arrive late next year, came into service.
The company initially blamed the North Berwick platform for being too short to accommodate longer trains, then said it had no available carriages to spare.
However, work to extend the platform at North Berwick is now complete and the firm has now conceded it needs to look at the service again.
It has confirmed it is in talks with other train operators about using their carriages to increase capacity on the services and is also reviewing the timetable of the line to identify the potential for additional services.
Councillor Michael Veitch, council cabinet member for transportation, said the council had raised concerns that the growing popularity of local rail travel and increasing population of the county was not being met with increased passenger capacity.
He said: “Following detailed discussions with Phil Verster, managing director of ScotRail Alliance, we have been told that interim measures are currently being planned with other train operators to offer increased capacity on some local routes.
“It’s extremely encouraging to hear that the operator has responded positively to our concerns and we await to see what improvements may be introduced.”
A ScotRail spokeswoman said: “We’ve committed to discussing options with other operators and are also reviewing our own timetable to see what additional services we can offer before the arrival of our new faster, longer greener trains next autumn.”