Thursday 1 Mar 2007


Region & Route:
Scotland’s Railway: Scotland
Shorter journey times, longer trains, improved services on alternative routes between Edinburgh and Glasgow, more frequent services and car park extensions are among the recommendations made by Network Rail today as it publishes its first Scotland Route Utilisation Strategy (RUS). The Scotland RUS, published following three months' consultation and feedback from more than 150 stakeholders, puts forward a strategy for addressing the diverse and growing demands made on Scotland's railway. These challenges include catering for thousands of passengers commuting into Glasgow and Edinburgh every day while also reducing journey times and improving services for passengers travelling to and from Aberdeen and Inverness. Ron McAulay, Network Rail's Director, Scotland said: "Network Rail is ambitious to grow the railway in Scotland and this RUS presents a series of realistic proposals for getting the best out of the network and allowing up to 30% passenger growth over the next ten years. "Scotland's railway is extremely diverse and fulfils very important demands at opposite ends of a spectrum; simultaneously moving millions of people between towns and cities in the Central Belt and linking smaller communities at the extreme north and south of the country. Through a process of consultation with our stakeholders we have identified gaps in the current and future rail network provision and suggested solutions for filling them. We will now work with Transport Scotland and other industry partners to take this strategy forward." The Draft for Consultation RUS for Scotland was launched in August 2006 and outlined a series of options aimed at increasing capacity, improving busy routes and enhancing train punctuality for the next ten years. After several months of further analysis and extensive consultation with MSPs, local councils, rail user groups and members of the public, the original options have been developed into a comprehensive strategy that will manage growth on the rail network for the next ten years.

Notes to editors

Scotland's RUS recommendations include: Edinburgh - Glasgow - Timetable recast on Shotts to Glasgow Central route to reduce journey time and introduce an hourly train between Edinburgh and Glasgow, thereby providing an alternative, fast inter-city service - Timetable adjustments on Carstairs route to provide alternative, hourly service between Edinburgh and Glasgow Central for passengers travelling from the southside of Glasgow Edinburgh - Fife - Tayside - Following consultation a timetable consolidation is proposed, to provide regular service patterns and additional capacity for Fife services, including two limited-stop trains per hour en route to Dundee and Perth - Infrastructure investment to improve punctuality and reliability for Fife Services including resignalling between Haymarket and Inverkeithing Aberdeen - Edinburgh & Glasgow - Proposed infrastructure investment and timetable improvements to reduce end-to-end journey times and introduce regular stopping patterns Glasgow - Kilmarnock - Construction of an extended loop between Dunlop and Stewarton to enable a half-hourly service between Glasgow and Kilmarnock, with six-carriage trains in the peaks Glasgow Central Station - Electrification of Whifflet line would allow Whifflet services to be diverted to Glasgow Central low level, integrating them with the Argyle Line services and freeing capacity at Central Station's high level Glasgow - Paisley - Improve train timetable to reduce overcrowding and deliver more regular passenger service Glasgow - Ayr & Inverclyde - Platform works to permit longer trains to improve capacity Stranraer - Services amended to better serve the local population and reflect change in use of the line if ferry services are withdrawn - Includes some through-services to Glasgow Inverness - Edinburgh - Adopt 'Room For Growth', joint Highlands & Islands Enterprise/Highland Rail Partnership study, proposals to introduce an hourly service between Inverness and the central belt - Reduce journey times between Inverness and Edinburgh to three hours; this requires infrastructure investment of GBP 54 million Inverness - Aberdeen - Extend platforms at Insch and Elgin to accommodate longer, six-carriage trains to increase capacity - Improve infrastructure at both ends of the route (Elgin and Inverurie) to facilitate better local commuter services Edinburgh Crossrail - In response to consultation the Newcraighall-Edinburgh service will run across the city all the way to Fife, via South Gyle - Proposed infrastructure works at Portobello junction to improve reliability and punctuality at a network pinch-point Hyndland Re-modelling of Hyndland East Junction to reduce congestion and increase reliability. Options for consideration could include additional services, improvements to Hyndland Station and linkage to Gartnavel Hospital -------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Following the Railways Act 2005 the government tasked Network Rail with leading the production of Route Utilisation Strategies across the industry The RUS process outlines ways to get the best out of the network by identifying gaps and stating what would be necessary to fill them The Scotland RUS is the third in a series covering the Great Britain rail network, previously-published RUSs focus on the South West Main Line and Cross London services Cross-border issues affecting Scotland - West Coast Main Line, East Coast Main Line and freight - will be addressed in separate RUSs Copies of the Scotland RUS are available online at

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