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July 17, 2016

UK Network Rail releases Scotland Route Study to improve railway network

UK infrastructure operator Network Rail has published its long-term plan showing how the railway network in Scotland could be improved over the next three decades.

By Lopamudra Roy

UK infrastructure operator Network Rail has published its long-term plan showing how the railway network in Scotland could be improved over the next three decades.

The new Scotland Route Study reveals an expected rise in rail usage between 2019 and 2043 and outlines several options to enhance services to address the future needs of customers.

According to the study, by 2043 commuter traffic is likely to increase by 226% in Aberdeen, by 135% in Edinburgh, and by 128% in Glasgow.

Network Rail's Scotland managing director Phil Verster said: “Travel on Scotland’s railway is more popular now than ever before, with more than 96 million journeys made on our network each year.

"According to the study, by 2043 commuter traffic is likely to increase by 226% in Aberdeen, by 135% in Edinburgh, and by 128% in Glasgow."

“We have seen passenger numbers nearly double over the last two decades and we need to make sure we have the plans in place to invest confidently in our infrastructure to meet future demand.

“The Scotland Route Study provides clear options for the future of Scotland’s railway, setting out key choices for our funders to enable the country to continue to build on the industry’s current success.”

Developed jointly by Network Rail, regional transport partnerships, rail industry, and the government agency Transport Scotland, the study will help identify value-for-money choices for funders to enhance capacity, connectivity, and resilience on the existing network.

Outlined options include upgrading the East Coast Main Line between Drem and Prestonpans to include four tracks, increasing services on the Ayrshire and Inverclyde routes, electrification of the East Kilbride to Barrhead and Kilmarnock to Barassie lines, improving capacity at Glasgow Central, and phased electrification to Perth.


Image: Glasgow Central railway station train station retail shops shopping busy crowds. Photo: courtesy of Network Rail.

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