Grampian rail service proposals
A national campaigning organisation has unveiled a bold vision of what rail services could look like in the Northeast, greatly enhancing the opportunities for fast, frequent and environmentally-friendly travel within the area and further afield.
Railfuture Scotland, which represents rail users in Scotland, will be displaying the proposals at the Aberdeen Model Railway Exhibition in the RGU Sport Centre, Garthdee Road, Aberdeen this weekend. Not only is expansion of the network in the Grampian region proposed, but the frequency of many services is significantly improved.
Author of the enhanced network, Roderick McDougall, vice-chair of Railfuture Scotland, a chartered civil engineer and retired transport professional, has added links between Aberdeen and Banchory, between Dyce and Ellon, between Ellon and Peterhead, between Ellon and Fraserburgh, between Inverurie and Old Meldrum, and between Laurencekirk and Perth via Forfar (The Strathmore Line). 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 service and less than 50 miles have a 30 minute or better service. Together with several new stations on the existing network, such as at Bucksburn, Persley, Kittybrewster, Cove, Kintore and Newtonhill, and enhanced services to Huntly, Stonehaven and Laurencekirk, 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
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