Passengers at the heart of new plans for multi-billion investment in Scotland’s railway

Network Rail has today published detailed plans for a multi-billion-pound investment to improve Scotland’s railway for customers.

The plans show how the company will spend more than £4bn in Scotland, and £42bn across Britain, to increase reliability and improve performance over the next five years.

Focusing on making improvements to what matters most to passengers and freight users –the plans will target punctuality and improving infrastructure reliability.

They also include a 20 percent increase in spending on operations, maintenance and renewals.

The funding is being made available from government over a five-year period, known as control period 6 (CP6), which starts on April 1.

Between 2019 and 2024, Network Rail will:

  • Renew Carstairs junction to improve line speeds on the west coast main line and on the routes between Glasgow and Edinburgh, via Carstairs
  • Renew signalling systems in Edinburgh and Perth
  • Deliver a £13m refurbishment of the Clyde Bridge at Glasgow Central
  • Renew and refurbish more than 256 other structures across the route
  • Repair or renew more than 900 km of track across the country
  • Complete the upgrading of Glasgow Queen Street Station
  • Complete the Aberdeen-Inverness Improvement Project
  • Add a second platform at Dunbar.

Network Rail is also working closely with Transport Scotland to develop a pipeline  of potential enhancement projects across the county.

Projects currently being explored include:

  • Growing Lothians and Borders (previously Edinburgh Suburban Enhancement Programme)
  • 7Cities Connectivity (previously Greenhill Junction remodel and Dunblane to Perth Corridor Enhancement)
  • Scotland East to England Connectivity (ECML corridor enhancement)
  • Edinburgh Waverley western approach enhancements
  • East Kilbride/Barrhead corridor enhancement
  • Far North Line corridor enhancement.

Alex Hynes, Managing Director of the ScotRail Alliance, which includes Network Rail Scotland, said: “We are committed to developing a railway that delivers every day for our passengers and freight customers.

“The plans published today outline how we will increase spending on maintaining and renewing our railway over the next five years to drive up performance and reduce delays.

“We will also continue to work closely with the Scottish Government to deliver significant enhancements.

“Over the next five years, we will not only complete major projects such as the redevelopment of Glasgow Queen Street and the Aberdeen-Inverness Improvement Project, we will also develop new enhancements alongside Transport Scotland to help further improve our network and boost Scotland’s economy.”

The plan builds on the significant investments made in Scotland’s Railway over the last five years, which delivered:

  • Borders Railway – reconnecting the Scottish Borders to rail more than four decades after its closure in the Beeching cuts. The line was used by over 1m passengers in its first year.
  • Edinburgh-Glasgow Improvement Programme – electrification of the main Edinburgh-Glasgow line to help introduce longer, greener electric trains, increase capacity and cut journey times.
  • Edinburgh Gateway – creation of a new train-tram interchange station in the west of the city.
  • Stirling-Dunblane-Alloa Electrification Project – electrification of 100 single track kilometres of railway from Grangemouth junction through Falkirk Grahamston and Stirling to Alloa and Dunblane.  
  • Shotts Electrification Project – completing the electrification of the route between Edinburgh and Glasgow Central, via Shotts, to help boost capacity and reduce journey times.
  • Waverley platforms – lengthening platforms 5, 6 and 12 at Scotland’s second-busiest station to accommodate new train fleets on Scottish and cross-border services.