AN eminent academic and train enthusiast has slammed a proposed new rail timetable and claimed that it will take Wemyss Bay back to the age of steam.

ScotRail this week unveiled plans to run two services each hour on the line between the village and Glasgow, with a public consultation launched on the new schedule.

But Professor Dugald Cameron says that more stops along the way means that it will now take longer to get to Glasgow than the last steam trains did decades ago.

The retired director of Glasgow School of Art has lived in Skelmorlie for 52 years and has been using the train for all that time.

He told the Telegraph: "In 1967 when the line was first electrified it took 43 minutes, in 2024 it will take 61 minutes.

"It makes the journey longer than the last steam train.

"I have written to ScotRail about it. I have a lot of friends in the railway, they have been very polite and there has been an amicable exchange of views.

"I want to know why Wemyss Bay has been disadvantaged. In 2024 it will be the longest journey time since the line was electrified."

Professor Cameron, who specialised in industrial design, is happier with the move to run two trains an hour from Wemyss Bay, but feels this has been undermined.

He said: "Two trains an hour is welcome, though I don't know if there is the traffic for it.

"The extended journey time is not necessary, they could have one of the fast trains that connects with the ferry.

"Remember the service is part of a journey to Rothesay, and Rothesay to Glasgow via Wemyss Bay.

"People from Rothesay are going to have their journey extended by stopping at nearly every stop.

"ScotRail don't need to extend the time of the journey, they are choosing to do it."

The new timetable has been put out to consultation by rail bosses and the times between Wemyss Bay and Glasgow vary from 59 minutes to one hour and four minutes.

The new timetable will bring faster journey times between Gourock and Glasgow.

But six stations which would be omitted from the Gourock line before the evening peak would be covered by the Wemyss Bay service instead.

The six-week consultation on the proposed new timetable runs until November 20.

You can submit your views at