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De-carbonising public transport

Transport is a major contributor to greenhouse gases and other harmful emissions worldwide and efforts to reduce these are important for all forms of public transport. Moving from oil to low-carbon energy for transport raises important issues in terms of electrical power generation and distribution systems.  At our 2019 AGM in Perth, our Vice-chairman and…

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Bus and Rail Recovery

The current slump in bus and train usage due to covid-19 raises the question of how public transport can recover once continuing medical advances diminish the coronavirus health risks. Transport Scotland figures show rail use at only 30% of previous levels, with 60% of bus users having returned. More home working and online shopping are…

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Rail

Transport Scotland’s Rolling Stock Strategy

Transport Scotland is considering a rationalisation of its passenger rail fleet and approached a number of its stakeholders for their views. Together with Friends of the West Highland Line, we prepared the following response. Service Types Transport Scotland’s initial proposal is for a fleet comprising four service types: Intercity – long-distance connection between Scotland’s cities. Outer Suburban…

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Rail

SAPT Proposes Draft Recovery Strategy for Covid-19

Progress towards overcoming the Covid-19 pandemic must include a recovery strategy for public transport. Warnings from the Westminster Government against using public transport has seen bus and rail travel plunge by 95%. But before the Covid-19 outbreak, government policy correctly recognised the key role that public transport has in fighting against the other major threats…

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Rail

Tourism and Trains

Scottish scenic lines such as the West Highland Line are impressive feats of engineering through world-class scenery. Great rail journeys like the Jacobite steam train (seen right on the Glenfinnan viaduct) are major tourist attractions. SAPT welcomes Abellio’s plans to introduce upgraded tourist trains on the West Highland, Kyle, Far North, Stranraer and Borders lines.…

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Rail

High Speed Rail

Abellio ScotRail’s plans to introduce High Speed Trains on Scottish InterCity routes (as above at Aviemore) needs a matching programme from Network Rail to upgrade track, where possible, to support speeds above 100 mph, and to double the remaining single track sections. Faster InterCity rail journeys are essential to compete with improved dual-carriageway roads. Extension…

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Rail

Rail Re-opening

Following very successful re- opening of railway lines to Larkhall, Maryhill, Alloa and Airdie – Bathgate, the Borders line re- opened to Tweedbank in 2015. Further important conurbations that lost passenger rail services include Leven, Hawick and Ellon. Railway tracks remain to Levenmouth and passenger trains could be re-introduced relatively easily. Edinburgh- Glenrothes trains could…

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Rail

Electrification

The Scottish Government committed to electrify 100 track km per year until 2019, plus the Edinburgh-Glasgow line due in 2017. A strategy is needed for continuing electrification. SAPT suggests that priority should be completion of electrification of the Glasgow suburban network to East Kilbride, Kilmarnock and Maryhill, followed by Fife Circle lines from Edinburgh (if…