The Scotland Route Utilisation Strategy is a Route Utilisation Strategy, published by Network Rail in March 2007, the third RUS to be published. The railways in Scotland are divided into three strategic routes, namely Route 24 (East of Scotland), Route 25 (Highlands) and Route 26 (Strathclyde and South West Scotland) together with parts of Route 8 (East Coast Main Line, ECML) and Route 18 (West Coast Main Line, WCML). The three strategic routes form the scope of Network Rail's Scotland Route Utilisation Strategy. Separate RUSs for the ECML (published February 2008) and WCML (scheduled for publication late in 2009) encompass the relevant parts of routes 8 and 18. The Edinburgh Crossrail service, which provides a direct route between Stirling, Dunblane and Bathgate in the west to Newcraighall in the east, operates over part of the ECML east of Edinburgh Waverley to Portobello Junction.
The recommendations are grouped into each strategic route, and, as has become customary with RUSs, provide short-term (to end of CP3, March 2009), medium-term (CP4, 2014) and some long-term (thereafter) solutions. Essentially there are few major recommendations for the lightly used Route 25, but there are various and diverse recommendation for the other two, heavily used, routes. There are urgent issues to do with overcrowding in the peaks and with the capacity of individual lines and station, especially in the light of significant predicted growth in traffic (passenger and also freight).
Scotland, with its devolved government and Parliament responsible for transport in the nation, has been very active in pursuing the possible development of the rail infrastructure. At the time of the study and its publication there were a number of contingent projects at various stages, but mostly with capital funding already identified. These include:
- remodelling the western approach to Edinburgh Waverley station, and new platforms (subsequently completed February 2008 )
- reopening the Stirling-Alloa-Kincardine line (subsequently completed May 2008 )
- Stirling remodelling
- reopening the Airdrie to Bathgate through route, including reinstating the Drumgelloch to Bathgate section
- a new Glasgow Airport Rail Link (GARL) branching off an enhanced line through Paisley
- the Scottish Borders Railway, a plan to reopen extensive sections of track south-east of Edinburgh
- the Edinburgh Airport link, a short new section of track branching off the Edinburgh to Glasgow line, with other connections
Read more about Scotland Route Utilisation Strategy: Subsequent Developments
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