Monthly Archives: February 2014

Tram-Trains could give Glasgow Airport Rail Access

Tram-Trains are the preferred option for the delivery of rail access to Glasgow Airport.

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Transport Minister Keith Brown has today welcomed the imminent publication of the Glasgow Airport Strategic Transport Network Study.

Responding to numerous calls for comment, Mr Brown said:

“I welcome the imminent completion of Glasgow Airport Strategic Transport Network Study, which has been led by Glasgow Airport with support from Transport Scotland, Renfrewshire Council and Glasgow City Council. This work allows us to compare the performance of a wide range of transport measures with a view to improving public transport access to the airport and I look forward to it being finalised as quickly as possible.

“Initial examination of the results suggest there is much more that can be done to improve the levels of bus accessibility to the airport, particularly linking to Paisley Gilmour Street Station, and I call on Glasgow Airport and Renfrewshire Council to work together as a matter of urgency on this. In the longer term, the study indicates that a tram/train option running from the airport, which would then join the existing rail network into Glasgow Central, could be the most effective way to improve public transport access to the airport from the city centre.

“This report shows us why our decision to cancel GARL, which saved £176million of public money following concerns over increasing capital costs and in the face of cuts to the Scottish Government’s budget, was correct. The study shows that there are better ways to achieve the same objectives.

“While the appraisal does not give us all of the answers, particularly around passenger forecasts and risks, we will now consider the proposal for a tram/train link from Glasgow Airport onto the existing rail network into Glasgow Central and I have asked my officials to carry out further work on how this might be delivered.

“We recognise that any integration of light with conventional rail services would present numerous, significant challenges that will require detailed exploration and that the proposals are not as yet sufficiently understood. I would expect that all partners in the study will be prepared to work with us on this and continue to contribute financially as we look to improve access to Glasgow Airport for locals and visitors alike”

Five options investigated for maintaining SW Links 1

Network Rail will be investigating five options to maintain the rail links with the South West following the closure of the railway line at Dawlish following the Sea Wall breech during storms.

The five options are

  • Reinstate the Okehampton line (between Plymouth-Exeter, via Okehampton), which closed in 1967
  • Create a new line connecting existing freight lines from Alphington (near Exeter) and Heathfield (near Newton Abbot)
  • Options between Newton Abbot and Exeter (with new tunnels) – but current level of trains via Dawlish route could be maintained
  • i) Exminster – Newton Abbot 
  • ii) Starcross – Newton Abbot
  • iii) Dawlish Warren – Newton Abbot

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West Devon Borough Council has advised that it supports Okehampton route.

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Transport Scotland announces Fares and Timetable proposals

The return of train services to the Borders is one step closer to reality today as Transport Scotland unveils the prices and times of the services.

The plans, which are now subject to sign-off from the industry, should mean that passengers will be able to travel end-to-end on the new Borders Railway for less than £10 and from 5.20am until almost 1am.

This announcement is the latest exciting milestone in the countdown to services starting next year for the first time in more than four decades.

Transport Scotland has designed its recommended fares structure for the services to ensure ticket prices are in line with those elsewhere on the network, with the average fare across the Borders Railway working out at just £3.50.

Passengers using the existing stations on the route – Newcraighall and Brunstane – will find their fares maintained at current levels.

There will be two trains per hour in each direction throughout peak times with an hourly service on Sundays in the timetable, which has been designed to also provide excellent connectivity to the rest of the Scottish rail network.

And the timetable will serve everyone from early birds to night hawks with a 5.20am service from Tweedbank arriving in Edinburgh at 6.15am, and the latest train on the line leaving Waverley station at 23.55 for a 00.52am arrival at Tweedbank.

Transport Minister Keith Brown said:

“The Borders Railway will serve a huge cross section of society from the daily commuter starting a new job in the capital to the tourist at the Edinburgh Festival wanting to visit the great Scottish countryside, to the Borders College student enjoying a night out in the city.

“Our fares structure and timetable will ensure that the train will be an attractive travel option for them, allowing them to go end-to-end in less than an hour and for under £10.

“When you take into account the further discounts available through season tickets and student railcards, this will make the fares even cheaper for those who will be travelling regularly on the line.

“Although we’re investing £350million to make the line happen, passengers won’t have to worry about it hitting them in the pocket as their fares will be in line with those of similar journeys elsewhere on the network.

“We’re also ensuring that the timetable will allow for early starts and late finishes. This will not be the traditional rural limited service. We are serious about shifting people from road to rail and the Borders Railway will offer every opportunity for that.”

Tom Curry, Vice Chairman for Campaign for Borders Rail said:

“Campaign for Borders Rail are delighted with the announcement of the fare structure for the Borders Railway.

“The fare structure coupled with the half-hourly timetable will make the railway competitive with bus and car and will no doubt encourage a great number of people to switch to using the train.

“The confirmation that the first service of the day from Tweedbank will make a connection with the 0625 Edinburgh to Kings Cross is a welcome bonus coming from the timetable consultation and will give Borders business folk a sustainable route to London.

“At the other end of the day late night services will also help make passengers’ days more flexible and will be particularly crucial when it comes to sporting events and the Edinburgh Festivals.”

Borders Railway Timetable Features

  • The services will operate on a regular clock face departure every 30 minutes from Edinburgh to Tweedbank and from Tweedbank to Edinburgh.
  • Departure times from Edinburgh are planned to be at 24 and 54 minutes past each hour. From Tweedbank they are planned to be at 28 and 58 minutes past each hour.
  • The majority of end to end journeys will be achieved in 55 minutes or less. On some occasions this has not been possible due to conflicts with other operators services in and around Edinburgh.
  • At peak times four services in the morning will continue through Edinburgh towards Fife , which will serve Haymarket , South Gyle and the proposed New station at Edinburgh Gateway where connections will be available for Edinburgh Airport with a similar arrangement in the evening for return journeys where four services from the Fife direction will continue through to Tweedbank.
  • The first service from Tweedbank is at 05:20 during the week and will connect into the 06:25 East Coast service from Edinburgh arriving at London Kings Cross at 10:51 creating a total journey time from Tweedbank to London in around five ½ hours.
  • First and last services as follows:




    From Edinburgh

    From Tweedbank

    From Edinburgh From Tweedbank From Edinburgh From Tweedbank
    First Last First Last First Last First Last First Last First Last













  • Service frequency is hourly after 20:00 hours in the evening and on Sundays.
  • Stow has an hourly service except during peak times when it is served ½ hourly.
  • On arrival at Edinburgh the following connectional times are provided, 10 minutes being the minimum connectional time for transfer at Edinburgh:
    • Towards Glasgow services within 20 minutes.
    • Towards Dundee/Aberdeen services within 30 minutes.
    • Towards Inverness/Perth services within 10 minutes.
    • Towards Fife services within 20/25 minutes.
    • Towards North Berwick services within 15 minutes.
    • Towards Newcastle/York/London services within 20/30 minutes.

Anytime Single (consumer fares)

2014 prices Tweedbank Galashiels Stow Gorebridge Newtongrange Eskbank Shawfair Newcraighall Brunstane Waverley
Galashiels £1.80
Stow £3.20 £1.80
Gorebridge £5.90 £5.30 £2.80
Newtongrange £6.50 £6.10 £4.60 £2.00
Eskbank £7.00 £6.50 £5.10 £2.40 £1.70
Shawfair £7.20 £6.90 £5.70 £3.00 £2.20 £1.50
Newcraighall £8.30 £7.90 £6.40 £3.80 £3.10 £2.60 £1.10
Brunstane £8.80 £8.30 £6.90 £4.30 £3.50 £3.10 £2.00 £1.30
Waverley £9.80 £9.10 £7.70 £5.20 £4.60 £4.30 £3.20 £2.40 £2.40
Haymarket £9.80 £9.10 £7.70 £5.20 £4.60 £4.30 £3.20 £2.40 £2.40 £2.10

The proposed price of Anytime Single tickets between each of the stations on the Borders route is set out in the table below.

Approximate values for discounted end-to-end fares (Waverley to Tweedbank)

Return and season tickets can offer discounts to passengers on the route. Please note that season ticket prices are neither set nor regulated by the Scottish Ministers, and so the fares below are indicative.

Fare Type Typical Reduction Fare Anticipated
Anytime return 20% £15.70
Off-peak return One third reduction £13.10
Weekly season ticket 7 days for the price of 4 £62.80


Low Moor Footbridge swung in

Work has restarted on a replacement footbridge at Low Moor, where a new railway station is due to open in 2015. The proposal which has recently overcome the issue with the curvature of the railway line in that area, should have plans submitted in the very near future to the local council. The last remaining obstacle is the ownership of land that the station will sit on. The owner has gone into administration.

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