Rail services from Aberdeen actually started in another city yesterday as the east-coast line suffered from further staff shortages.
Passengers described their experience as akin to “Groundhog Day” as the rail operator offered what have recently been daily apologies for disruption.
As a result of the transport company’s on-going crew issues, a number of trains between Aberdeen and the central belt were scrapped.
Three services between the Granite City and Glasgow Queen Street were cancelled outright, with another three terminating in either Dundee or Perth.
And two services between Aberdeen and Edinburgh were altered, with one train not running and the other starting instead from Dundee.
Ian White, who was travelling from Aberdeen to Glasgow, said it was “the same old excuses” from Scotrail.
The traveler, who is registered blind, was due to travel in the afternoon.
He said: “A New Year and same old excuses by Scotrail.
“Staff shortages cause the 15:43 from Aberdeen to be cancelled, messing up my assistance.
“It’s simply not good enough. Once in a blue moon is acceptable but this is becoming a regular occurrence.”
Mr White was also affected by train delays before Christmas, when he was travelling from Inverness.
A Scotrail spokesman admitted the situation was “far from ideal”.
Yesterday more than a dozen other services were also reduced from four coaches to three due to a combination of crew shortages and faults.
And later in the afternoon, as things were starting to get back on track, a signalling fault near Croy affected outward trains from Glasgow Queen Street to other locations within the central belt, as well as Aberdeen and Inverness.
NEW: @NetworkRailScot have made us aware they’re dealing with a signalling fault near Croy which is affecting our Glasgow Queen Street to Stirling/Alloa/Dunblane/Perth/Dundee/Aberdeen/Inverness services. Engineers are on their way, due to arrive in around 10 minutes. ^CT pic.twitter.com/R543cgUefT
— ScotRail (@ScotRail) January 4, 2019
A faulty cable was to blame for the delays and signalling engineers responded and fixed the cable within a couple of hours.
Alex Hynes, managing director of the ScotRail Alliance said: “We’re really sorry for the disruption to services over the last few days and recent weeks.
“We know the impact this has on our customers and are working flat out to get things back to normal.
“Anyone delayed by 30 minutes or more as a result of a cancellation is entitled to compensation through our Delay Repay Guarantee.
“Customers should keep hold of their ticket and claim on our website or mobile app.
“Customers should also check @ScotRail on Twitter and visit JourneyCheck.com/scotrail before travelling.”
Just before Christmas, the Scottish Government ordered ScotRail bosses to improve performance levels.
A remedial notice issued on December 24 cited cancellations throughout November and December as having breached required performance targets.
The rail operator had introduced a new timetable earlier that month which was expected to improve the service.
However passengers have since continued to face a number of cancellations across the country.
>> Keep up to date with the latest news with The P&J newsletter
A response to the notice must be delivered within eight weeks, outlining how ScotRail will resolve the issues.
North East Labour MSP Lewis Macdonald said: “It is deeply disappointing that the poor performance of Abellio ScotRail in delivering trains which run on time, with enough seats for passengers, seems to going sharply downhill in the New a Year, and shows no sign of turning a corner any time soon.
“The Scottish Government are asking passengers to pay more for poorer services on ScotRail.
“It is time Abellio management were held to account for their persistently poor performance, rather than being let off the hook by SNP Ministers.”