A new hourly train service operating along the coastal strip of Angus that was due to start in May has been delayed for six months.
The “deeply disappointing” news was given to Angus South SNP MSP Graeme Dey at a meeting with ScotRail in the Scottish Parliament.
The service will not be launched until the end of the year owing to the knock-on effect of problems ScotRail has encountered with the new Hitachi electric trains to serve the Glasgow-Edinburgh line.
Mr Dey said: “Although the circumstances that have led to this delay in the introduction of the new service are outwith ScotRail’s control, the news is still deeply disappointing.
“The rollout is entirely dependent on when the electric trains come into service, thereby freeing up the necessary rolling stock for this part of the country.
“I am advised that because of windscreen and software problems with the Hitachis, that won’t now happen until December, which is a real blow, particularly for would-be commuters from Monifieth, who were expecting to be able to access in the region of 32 trains a day within a few weeks.”
The rail company’s proposals would see the number of stops made by trains at Broughty Ferry more than double while four times as many trains could call at nearby Monifieth.
Under the proposals, by 2019 the number of trains stopping at Broughty Ferry will increase to 33, while the number stopping at Monifieth will rise from seven to 27. The number at Carnoustie will rise from 34 per day to 40 and from 73 to 89 at Arbroath.
ScotRail’s head of business development Scott Prentice said it would create a “viable rail service for local commuting and leisure journeys to and from Dundee and Aberdeen for the first time since the 1980s”.