A Vision for Fife Rail Services
A national campaigning organisation has unveiled a bold vision of what Fife rail services could look like, greatly enhancing the opportunities for fast, frequent and environmentally-friendly travel within the Kingdom and further afield.
Railfuture Scotland, which represents rail users in Scotland, revealed the scheme at the Cupar Model Railway Exhibition at the weekend. Not only is expansion of the network in Fife and surrounding areas proposed, but the frequency of most services is at least doubled.
Author of the enhanced network, Roderick McDougall, vice-chair of Railfuture Scotland, a chartered civil engineer and retired transport professional, has added links between Alloa and Dunfermline, Perth and Cowdenbeath and Perth to Laurencekirk via Forfar, as well as branch lines to Comrie, Levenmouth and St Andrews. These would enable new services such as Comrie-Edinburgh via Kirkcaldy; Levenmouth-Edinburgh via both Dunfermline and Kirkcaldy; and St Andrews-Glasgow via Dunfermline, Alloa and Stirling. The service frequencies are in line with the policy to ensure journeys to major employment, social and commercial centres of less than 20 miles have a 15 minute or better train service and those less than 60 miles have a 30 minute or better service. Together with several new stations on the existing network such as at Halbeath (park & ride), Dysart, Newburgh and Wormit, these proposals will result in a significant modal shift from road to rail, boosting the economy, increasing prosperity and protecting the environment.
Mr McDougall said "Whereas it is Network Rail's job to look after and maintain the existing network and Scotrail's job to operate passenger trains on it in accordance with their franchise, there appears to be no-one charged with looking at extending and improving the network. This is a Government responsibility which they are shirking by passing it on to cash strapped Regional Transport Authorities and Local Councils without giving them either the authority or the financial ability to fulfil it. It is only pressure groups like ours that are trying to 'kick start' a renaissance in railway improvements"
Map and list of services
NOTE TO EDITORS
Contact - Roderick McDougall: rod.mcdougall at railfuturescotland.org.uk
Railfuture is the UK's leading independent organisation campaigning for better rail services for both passengers and freight.
Railfuture's website can be found at: http://www.railfuture.org.uk