£3.6bn plan for faster train links to Glasgow
ELECTRIFICATION of the busy Edinburgh-Glasgow line is among measures to improve the country's rail network proposed in a £3.6 billion blueprint.
Projects under way already - including the reopening of part of the line between the Capital and Tweedbank in the Borders and the revival of the Airdrie-Bathgate line - are among other projects in Transport Scotland's report.
Ministers called for detailed plans on the Edinburgh-Glasgow project by the autumn. It is expected to cost 265 million and be finished by 2013. The plans would also include an "effective interchange" at Edinburgh Airport, linked via a runway tunnel.
Electrification would cut trip times between Scotland's major cities by six minutes, to less than 45 minutes. And a high-speed line to make the trip less than 30 minutes has not been ruled out. Transport Scotland has pencilled in the project, which could cost 3bn, for 2014-2020 "if feasibility work shows a strong case".
A Transport Scotland spokeswoman said: "Electrification is independent of any high-speed line proposal. Electrification produces other benefits in terms of capacity and performance, and also potential environmental gains." But an upgrade of Edinburgh Waverley station to deal with more passengers was ruled out in the short term.
Finance Secretary John Swinney said: "Offering more high-quality public transport alternatives to the car and better connections will make for a fairer, greener Scotland and a stronger national economy."
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Thursday 23 May 2013
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