TRAINS to and from Ayrshire have returned to normal this week after the resolution of a long-running industrial dispute - but the next round of disruption across Scotland’s rail network is only a few days away.

ScotRail’s full timetable on the Ayrshire-Glasgow route – and across Scotland – was reintroduced on Wednesday after a deal was struck to end a dispute with the train drivers’ union ASLEF.

On the Ayrshire route that means the resumption of late evening services, with the last departure from Ayr through Ayrshire now at 11pm, an improvement on the reduced timetable brought in as a result of the ASLEF dispute.

However, a separate row – this one not directly involving ScotRail – means that it looks likely there will be no trains at any of Ayrshire’s stations for 24 hours next week.

This dispute is between the RMT union and Network Rail across the UK – plus 14 train operating companies. If Network Rail’s staff in Scotland – including signalling and engineering and maintenance workers – walk out next week, it’s likely to mean no train service on most ScotRail routes. The RMT’s members are due to take strike action on Thursday, July 27.

Further strike days are planned for Thursday, August 18 and Saturday, August 20.

Similar 24-hour strikes last month – three of them in the space of five days – brought the ScotRail network to a virtual standstill.

On those three strike days, the only trains to run in Scotland were skeleton services linking Glasgow with Lanarkshire and Edinburgh.

The RMT dispute is about jobs, pay and conditions, with the union saying employers are proposing pay rates that do not rise in line with inflation.

The RMT also says operating companies and Network Rail want to cut jobs, leading to safety implications.