Galloway trains to be lengthened

The train services currently running on south west routes could be lengthened if plans go ahead as outlined in Network Rail’s Scotland Route Study.

The long term plan just released by Network Rail examines how Scotland’s railway could evolve over the next three decades.

The drafted plan predicts that Scotland’s already busy trains are expected to rise in usage between 2019-2043, meaning the current services being offered will not meet demand.

The study has been developed by Network Rail – in partnership with the rail industry, regional transport partnerships and Transport Scotland – to identify value-for-money choices for railway funders to improve connectivity, capacity and resilience on the existing network.

For Ayrshire, the main issue is trains being overcrowded during morning peak hours travelling into Glasgow.

This is mainly commuters and the problem is predicted to keep getting worse if nothing is done.

Network Rail propose to lengthen the trains that are running during peak time to alleviate this issue.

They will also extend platforms in Glasgow to adapt to the longer trains.

The study has been released in the same week which has seen the introduction of an hourly service from Girvan-Ayr as well as an increase in trains on a Sunday from Ayr-Stranraer.

However, many of these trains still suffer from a lack of carriages.

Phil Verster, managing director of the ScotRail Alliance, a new partnership between Network Rail and Abellio ScotRail, said: “The railway in Scotland is carrying record levels of passengers with the number of people travelling on our network increasing by 85 percent over the last 20 years to 93m journeys a year.

“This resurgence in Scotland’s railway is in part due to the commitment to continuous improvement of the railway shown by successive Scottish governments’ as well as by the industry itself.

“The ongoing Edinburgh Glasgow Improvement Programme and the recent opening of the Borders Railway demonstrate what can be achieved when the rail industry and funders work together collaboratively to enhance our railway.

“The purpose of this study is to enable the rail industry and its funders to continue to build in the decades ahead on the industry’s current success – and to do that we need to hear the views of our customers.”

The full study can be found on Network Rail’s website at: www.networkrail.co.uk/long-term-planning-process/scotland-route-study/

This is the draft for consultation and the rail industry would welcome any views you may have on the work completed to date.

The closing date for responses is March 10 2016.

Responses will then be reviewed and the final Scotland Route Study published in summer 2016.

Responses should be sent to scotlandroutestudy@networkrail.co.uk.