Rail industry leaders have today published ‘Investing in the Future’, a report that will be a starting point for discussions with the Scottish Government and the public about the future of Scotland’s railway.
The document, published by the Rail Delivery Group, has been developed by representatives from across the rail industry, including Network Rail and ScotRail, as well as cross-border passenger and freight operators.
It recognises the changes taking place within Scotland’s railway and sets out how the rail industry is working together with the Scottish Government to improve the day-to-day operation of the network and enhance it to meet future demand.
Building on the Scotland Route Study, published by Network Rail this summer, “Investing in the Future” is a starting point for discussions with the Government about what outcomes it wants rail to deliver, and how to achieve them in a way that delivers value for money.
The document also sets out a number of areas that the industry will explore more fully as it works with the Government in developing its High Level Output Specification in 2017.
These include potential enhancements to Glasgow Central and Edinburgh Waverley stations, investments to reduce journey times and allow more trains to run between Scotland’s main cities and train lengthening projects to provide more seats on key commuter routes.
The timing of the document reflects the industry’s ability to inform the development of the Scottish Government’s strategy and policy, and as such sets the scene for the Rail Delivery Group’s Initial Industry Advice (IIA) which is expected to be published in early 2017.
Commenting on the publication, Jo Kaye, chair of the Rail Delivery Group’s Planning Oversight Group and Director of Network Strategy and Planning at Network Rail, said:
“Rail is increasingly important to the prosperity of both Scotland and Britain, with more people taking the train for work, leisure and to do business. Passenger numbers in Scotland have almost doubled in 20 years and rail freight has an important role to play in making businesses more efficient with fast, reliable deliveries, so we must continually plan for the railway the country is going to need in future.
“This document draws on expertise from across the industry, including the ScotRail Alliance, and will support the Scottish Government and other funders in making decisions around the future of the railway. It demonstrates that the industry is working to better understand and meet the needs of its current and future customers.”
Phil Verster, managing director of the ScotRail Alliance, said:
“Scotland’s railway is more popular now than ever before with more than 96million journeys made on our network each year.
“The whole industry is also working together more closely than ever before to make sure we deliver the railway, both now and in the future, that our customers and the wider communities they come from need to prosper.
“We hope this report will help to inform funders about the strong role we see the rail industry playing in the years ahead.”
About Rail Delivery Group
The purpose of the Rail Delivery Group (RDG) is to enable passenger and freight operators and Network Rail to succeed by delivering better services for their customers. This ultimately benefits taxpayers and the economy.