Press release 15th November 2014

Railfuture Scotland's rail expansion plans launched

Railfuture unveiled proposals for the future of the rail network in Scotland on Saturday. All our proposals are designed to maximise the potential for mode shift from road to rail for both passengers and freight.

We revealed our top 50 proposals for new stations on the existing rail network which we had previously given to all the bidders for the Scotrail franchise for consideration.

We are calling for the Government to double its proposed rate of electrification of the rail network to 200 track km per annum [in order to catch up with its own STPR programme of having all the South and Central Scotland lines emanating from Glasgow (other than the Stranraer line) and all the Fife lines, including the lines to Dundee and Perth, electrified by 2022 to be immediately followed by the Dunblane to Aberdeen and the Perth to Inverness lines] and the addition of the Aberdeen to Inverness line, the Borders line, the Kilmarnock to Irvine line and the Ayr to Girvan line to the electrification programme.

We are calling on the Government to accelerate the capacity and speed improvements to the Highland Main Line and the Aberdeen to Inverness lines by reducing the lengths of single track to allow both passenger and freight services to be increased, to provide passing places on the Wemyss Bay and Largs lines to allow for half-hourly passenger services and to re-design the track layout at Portobello to accommodate greater numbers of services and improve resilience at this junction.

We are calling on Scotrail and the Government to Increase the number of commuter services to provide 15 minute headways from stations within 20miles of major employment centres, 30 min headways for up to 50mile commutes and hourly services from all other stations (apart from those on the social/tourist lines – Far North, West Highland and Stranraer lines).

We are calling for Network Rail to accelerate its signalling modernisation programme to complete the network south of Inverness by the end of control period 6 (2024) ensuring it is designed to allow for 90 second headways on the critical parts of the network.

We are also calling for the opening of 23 short feeder lines [seven existing freight lines (Levenmouth, Grangemouth, Abbeyhill Branch, Glasgow Crossrail, South Kilmarnock, Edinburgh South Suburban (for tram-train operation connecting to the tram line at Haymarket) and the Dalmellington Branch), five new build lines (St Andrews link, Almond Chord, Garngad Chord, Muirhouse link and St John’s link) and eleven re-laid former lines (Lossiemouth Branch, Old Meldrum Branch, Haddington Branch, Silvermuir link, Penicuik Branch, Strathaven Branch, Alloway Branch, Kilmacolm to Elderslie (as a light rail line interchanging with the main line at Elderslie), Stranraer to Cairnryan line, Partick Central Branch (linked to Charing Cross line) and the Glasgow Airport Rail link (including an extension to Renfrew)] and one longer connecting freight line (Alloa to Dunfermline) for passenger use.

Longer term proposals include a further forty-four stations on the existing network plus a series of major line re-openings.

Railfuture's Top 50 Proposed Stations in Scotland