Tuesday 11 Oct 2016
Rail investment means changes for central belt travellers
The ScotRail Alliance is today urging people whose travel plans will take them through the central belt to check their journey before setting off, as a number of timetable alterations come into force on Saturday 22 October.
ScotRail has created an interactive timeline to help customers plan ahead: scotrail.co.uk/improvements which summarises the key changes at different times of day between now and December.
The call comes as the latest phase in the work to upgrade Scotland’s rail network begins in the central belt. Journey times will be longer and customers can expect to see queuing systems in operation at key stations.
As well as increasing the overall reliability of the rail network, the improvement work clears the way for the introduction of new faster, longer, greener trains for Scotland – meaning more seats and shorter journey times.
The introduction of new electric trains in the central belt will lead to a revolution in rail services across Scotland, with an extra 200 daily services added, bringing in an extra 20,000 seats per day.
The ScotRail Alliance also confirmed that it was working closely with Aberdeen Football Club and the Scottish Rugby Union to develop specific plans that will help people travelling from the Aberdeen area to attend the upcoming Betfred Cup Semi Final match at Hampden and also to support people going to the Autumn Internationals at Murrayfield.
Jacqueline Taggart, ScotRail Alliance Customer Experience Director said:
“We are going through a massive period of change on Scotland’s railway. The work that we are carrying out over the next few months will bring about a revolution in rail – with more and better trains, more services and more seats than ever before.
“However, while we transform the railway, there is inevitably going to be some impact on people’s services. We are doing everything we can to minimise this, and to keep people moving. That is why we have set up a new, interactive webpage that helps customers see at a glance what is happening when they wish to travel.
“No one likes having their journey changed. However, this short term disruption will lead to a more reliable, better rail network that will rank amongst the very best.”
NOTES TO EDITORS:
Timetable Summary by route:
Glasgow Queen Street – Dundee/Aberdeen (via Perth)
Until Sunday 4 December, services may be subject to change and diverted via Cumbernauld or Fife at certain times of the day. Journeys will take longer.
Glasgow Queen Street – Inverness
At weekends until 11 December, services may be diverted via Fife or operate on part of the route only.
Edinburgh – Inverness
On Sat/Sun 26/27 November and Sun 4 Dec and Sun 11 Dec, trains operate between Edinburgh – Perth only. Replacement buses run between Perth and Inverness.
Glasgow Queen Street – Edinburgh via Falkirk High (in progress)
Until Thursday 8 December, services may be cancelled or run between Glasgow Queen Street – Polmont only, at certain times of day. Replacement buses will operate when trains are not running.
Glasgow Queen Street – Alloa
Until Sunday 4 December, trains may be diverted via Cumbernauld or – over five weekends – cancelled completely. On days that no trains are running, customers can travel to Falkirk High (by train or replacement bus) for onward bus travel to Alloa.
Glasgow Queen Street – Falkirk Grahamston
For five weekends from Saturday 22 October – Sunday 20 November, trains are cancelled. However services between Glasgow Queen Street Low Level and Cumbernauld operate as normal. Replacement buses run between Cumbernauld and Falkirk Grahamston.
Glasgow Queen Street – Stirling / Dunblane / Perth
For five weekends from Saturday 22 October – Sunday 20 November, services are cancelled. Customers can travel to Falkirk High (by train or bus) to complete their journey by replacement bus.
Edinburgh – Stirling / Dunblane / Perth
Until Thursday 8 December, trains may be cancelled (over five weekends from Saturday 22 October – Sunday 20 November), or operate only between Edinburgh - Falkirk Grahamston or Polmont at certain times of the day. Replacement buses will run when no trains are in operation.
Glasgow Central - Edinburgh via Shotts (in progress)
Sunday all day : until Sun 4 Dec 2016 Replacement buses operating between Glasgow Central and West Calder, in both directions, calling at intermediate stations. Trains only operate between West Calder and Edinburgh in both directions. Customers can also use Lanark trains, which run as normal, between Bellshill and Glasgow Central in both directions.
Monday - Thursday evenings until 8 Dec
After approximately 20:30 replacement buses operate between Glasgow Central and West Calder, in both directions, calling at intermediate stations. Trains only operating between West Calder and Edinburgh in both directions. Customers can also use Lanark trains, which run as normal, between Bellshill and Glasgow Central in both directions.
Earlier this year, the Scottish Government announcement a ‘rail revolution’ that will deliver 200 more services and 20,000 more seats for passengers in Scotland from 2018 – the largest programme of benefits to rail passengers seen in a generation. A total of 20,000 more seats per day will be available with passengers across Tayside, Stirlingshire, Perthshire, Aberdeenshire and the Borders set to feel the benefits.
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 36,000 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.