Thursday 24 Aug 2017
Politicians get on track with Scotland’s railway
Scotland’s politicians are getting the chance to see first-hand what it takes to keep the nation’s railway moving.
MPs and MSPs are being invited to spend a day at Network Rail’s purpose-built £4m training centre in Larbert to find out more about how the railway is constantly maintained and enhanced – while still carrying over 96 million passengers a year.
During their visit members also get some practical hands-on experience of fixing problems on an indoor replica rail track. Working with the centre’s instructors, they see how to repair signalling and track faults and view the techniques and technologies used to minimise disruption.
Kilmarnock and Loudon MP Alan Brown, Ochil and South Perthshire MP
Luke Graham and Inverclyde MP Ronnie Cowan visited the centre today (Thursday, August 24) as part of the scheme.
Martin Mina, workforce development centre manager for Network Rail, said: “Our teams are out on the network every night undertaking essential maintenance and upgrade work while still keeping passengers moving during the day.
“Rail travel is more popular now than ever before and the work our engineers are doing is vital to the future success of the rail industry.
“It has been a real pleasure to open the doors of our centre to our MPs and MSPs and let them experience first-hand the life of a railway engineer.”
The ScotRail Alliance, a partnership between Network Rail Scotland and ScotRail, employs over 7,000 people who work around-the-clock to run over 2,500 train services a day and to maintain and operate over 2,800 miles of track and 359 stations.
Scotland’s railway is currently undergoing a period of enhancement unmatched since the Victorian era with huge investment being delivered to increase capacity, improve passenger facilities and introduce new modern, greener, faster electric trains.
About Network Rail
Network Rail owns, manages and develops Britain's railway - the 20,000 miles of track, 40,000 bridges and viaducts and the thousands of signals, level crossings and stations (the largest of which we also run). In partnership with train operators we help people take more than 1.65bn journeys by rail every year and move hundreds of millions of tonnes of freight, saving almost 8m lorry journeys. We employ 38,000 people across Britain and work round-the-clock, each and every day, to provide a safe, reliable railway.
About the Railway Upgrade Plan
The Railway Upgrade Plan is Network Rail's investment plan for Britain's railways. It makes up two-thirds of Network Rail's £40bn spending priorities for the five years to 2019 and represents the biggest sustained programme of rail modernisation since the Victoria era. It is designed to provide more capacity, relieve crowding and respond to the tremendous growth Britain's railways continue to experience; passenger numbers have doubled in the past 20 years and are set to double again over the next 25 years - so we need to continue to invest in building a bigger, better railway. For passengers, that means:
- longer, faster more frequent trains;
- better, more reliable infrastructure; and
- better facilities for passengers, especially at stations.