No rail service at Dunbar for over a week

“FORGOTTEN” commuters have been left stranded by network rail, with no train service operating from Dunbar in over a week.

With adverse weather affecting the points at Dunbar, Network Rail took the decision to stop trains calling there, in order to keep services running between London and Edinburgh.

And with no replacement bus service because of the dangerous driving conditions, the people of Berwickshire and Dunbar have been left stranded.

A spokesman for Network Rail said: “The Dunbar station is not actually on the East Coast main line, it’s on a loop. Due to the extremely bad weather the points were beginning to fail and the decision was made taken last week to lock down the points to make sure we can run a service between Edinburgh and London. This became particularly important as the air line was not operating between Edinburgh and London because of the weather.

“We can sometimes man sets of points to operate them, but the nature of the points at Dunbar mean that four people would be required 24 hours a day to do this.”

He said that points in other areas were “more strategically important” to man, and other points required only two people to operate them, so it was not practical to assign four people to Dunbar.

He continued: “We can keep two sets of points operating with the same mnumber of people it would take just to operate Dunbar. We have limited man power and it was important to keep a cross Border service running.”

But Barrie Forrest, vice chair of the Rail Action Group East of Scotland (RAGES) said: “It’s not acceptable in this day and age. About 500 people get on the train at Dunbar every morning, they can’t get to work.

“I think it’s sad that Network Rail can’t have the man power to do all the junctions. Years ago the stations had their own service men to look after their own points. I think we’re stepping backwards instead of forwards. RAGES are trying their best, we have contacted MPs and MSPs. Something needs to be done.”

He added: “I think it’s most unfortunate that Dunbar is being put off the rail network at this time. They tell people to get out of your car and get on trains, but how can they?”

MSP John Lamont commented: “The station at Dunbar is important to many Berwickshire residents who commute to Edinburgh. They are being seriously inconvenienced by this lengthy closure to the station, as are the many residents in East Lothian who rely on the station.”