Network Rail sets out long-term plans for Scottish routes

Perth railway station footbridgeNetwork Rail has published its Scotland Route Study – a long-term plan looking at how Scotland’s railway could evolve over the next three decades.

The Scotland Route Study outlines expected growth in rail usage between 2019 and 2043 and options to enhance the network to meet the future needs of customers.

The newly-published study anticipates that strong growth is likely to continue in Scotland – with Edinburgh commuter traffic potentially increasing by 135 percent by 2043, Glasgow by 128 percent and Aberdeen by 226 percent.

The study has been developed by Network Rail – in partnership with the rail industry, regional transport partnerships and Transport Scotland – to identify value-for-money choices for funders to improve connectivity, capacity and resilience on the existing network.

Originally published in draft in December 2015, 136 individuals and organisations submitted comments on the study.

Phil Verster, Network Rail managing director Scotland, said: “Travel on Scotland’s railway is more popular now than ever before with more than 96m journeys made on our network each year.

“We have seen passenger numbers nearly double over the last two decades and we need to make sure we have the plans in place to invest confidently in our infrastructure to meet future demand.

“The Scotland Route Study provides clear options for the future of Scotland’s railway – setting out key choices for our funders to enable the country to continue to build on the industry’s current success.”

Potential choices identified by the study, which will inform funding decisions for the period 2019 to 2029, include:

•​Four-tracking the East Coast Main Line between Drem-Prestonpans

•​Edinburgh Waverley platform extensions / enhancement of approaches to the station

•​Lengthening services on the Ayrshire and Inverclyde routes

•​Enhancing capacity at Glasgow Central

•​Phased electrification to Perth

•​Electrification of East Kilbride/Barrhead and Kilmarnock/Barassie lines

•​Remodelling Carstairs junction

•​Remodelling Perth Station

•​Route enhancements on Inverness/Aberdeen/Far North.

The full study can be found on Network Rail’s website at:

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