Network Rail vows £4bn for Scotland over next five years

Three-carriage class 334 train Network Rail has set out its business plan for 2014 to 2019

Network Rail has said it will invest £4bn on improving rail infrastructure in Scotland.

The company is submitting its five year business plan to the rail regulator setting out proposals for improvements across the UK.

Priorities include electrifying the line between Glasgow and Edinburgh, and completing the Borders rail link.

The rail authority has also warned there will be tough choices to be made to compete with rising demands.

Network Rail has said it is committed to continuing what it has described as "the biggest investment in infrastructure since the Victorian era".

Network Rail: Plan for Scotland

  • Reconnecting the Borders with Edinburgh by reopening 30 miles of railway closed in the 1960s
  • Improving the route between Aberdeen and Inverness resulting in better commuter services and a new station at Kintore
  • Electrifying the Edinburgh Waverley-Glasgow Queen Street route, shortening journey times and increasing capacity
  • Implementing a rolling programme of electrification which will cover around 100 single track kilometres per annum - The routes to be electrified include those to Stirling/Dunblane/Alloa, East Kilbride and Coatbridge.
  • Delivering signalling and track works on the West Coast Main Line in Lanarkshire to reduce journey times and increase capacity

Setting out its strategic business plan, covering the period from 2014 - 2019, the company said it wants to reduce costs and deliver more passengers on time than ever before.

In Scotland, Network Rail plans to improve commuter services between Aberdeen and Inverness and after electrifying the route between Edinburgh and Glasgow will roll that out to routes in Central Scotland and Lanarkshire.

It has also committed to reopening 30 miles of railway connecting the Borders with Edinburgh.

David Simpson, Network Rail route managing director for Scotland, said: "In Scotland, rail travel is more popular than ever and demand is predicted to continue to grow rapidly in the future.

"A wide range of enhancements have been identified which will continue to grow capacity and extend the reach of rail in the years ahead, while driving down costs, increasing cross industry cooperation and improving value for both passengers and taxpayers."

As well as publishing its strategic business plan, Network Rail has published an accompanying document, A Better Railway for a Better Britain.

It has outlined ten key commitments for the future, including investing in new technology, building partnerships with customers and suppliers and investing in infrastructure now to save on long-term costs.

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