But if the council suggest running an earlier train First Scotrail's answer will be "if you pay us the full running costs".
I think that if the COSTS were to be charged the council would be quite happy with that. The issue arises when they are asked for a sum which is a substantial multiple of those costs.
The reality is you cannot just add a service because you want one due to the critical lack of spare capacity in the fleet:
Council: Run extra train - we'll pay the staff and diesel costs.
Scotrail: Sure but all our rolling stock is in use so you need to get Transport Scotland to allow us to cut a service somewhere else to free a train up
Council (To TS): We need Scotrail to run an extra train can we have a train please?
TS: There are no spare sets and we are not cutting services!
Council (to SR): Any other options?
Scotrail: Sure hire us some coaches, and pay a freight operator to provide a driver and loco for them.
Council (on seeing bill charged by ROSCO to hire some MK I carriages rotting unwanted in a siding that they were given for free by Major's givernment): WTF? We cannot afford that!
Scotrail: Don't you think we would like to add more capacity to our few profitable but overcrowded route if we had stock to spare? Welcome the the reality of a "privatised" railway micromanaged by the DfT!