Passengers’ crash fear drama on express train

TERRIFIED train passengers thought their driver had collapsed at the wheel after a packed service hurtled through two stations without stopping.

People on board the busy service were so alarmed that they thought about pulling the emergency stop.

The drama happened on the 5.45pm service from Glasgow to Milngavie on Saturday.

Everything was normal as the train left Westerton Station - but then it shot past Bearsden without stopping and appeared to accelerate as it whizzed through Hillfoot.

Passengers began to panic as rumours spread that something had happened to the driver and people feared the train would crash into buffers at Milngavie.

However, as it approached the station - the final one on the line - it slowed down and the shaken passengers disembarked.

Around 50 of them then surrounded the driver asking what had gone on, only to be told that an announcement had been made informing them that the service would not be making scheduled stops at Bearsden and Hillfoot.

John Paton, from Balfron, was caught up in the drama.

He said: “I was due to get off at Bearsden to get my car and go and pick up my child. However, the train just kept going. People started to get alarmed as it seemed to speed up through Hillfoot.

“There were concerns that something was wrong with the driver. People were talking about pulling the emergency stop, but I think the idea of breaking the glass put them off.

“When we got off there was quite a crowd gathered round the driver demanding to know what happened. He said that an announcement had been made, but there were at least 50 people gathered on that platform who had not heard this. It was quite a scene. Some people had lost the head and were shouting and bawling.”

However, a Scotrail spokeswoman said that, following complaints, the train’s PA system had been tested - and was found to be working.

She said: “Due to delays caused by overhead wire problems, the difficult decision was taken to run the service as an express from Westerton onwards.

“I can assure you that such industry decisions are not taken lightly and are designed to reduce the inconvenience caused to the majority of our customers, including those using the route later that day.

“I can also assure you the driver followed procedures by making an on board announcement before Westerton – and then another at the station. Indeed, following feedback from some customers that they had not heard the announcements, checks were made on the on-train PA system. No faults were found.

“We apologise for any inconvenience caused by circumstances outwith our control.”