Network Rail Scotland has announced a GBP 4.2 billion (EUR 4.9 billion) investment in the Scotland’s Railway under the Control Period 7 between 2024 and 2029 as an ambition to “to deliver a safe, greener and more reliable railway.”
Major investments in renewing the railway infrastructure, tackling climate change, greater use of technology, improving train performance and growing passenger and freight numbers are central to the plan.
The investment is focused on creating an efficient railway that delivers value for taxpayers, while prioritising safety, reliability and performance.
It sets out the path ahead for Control Period 7 and supports greater resilience of the network during extreme weather while aiming to make sure more trains arrive on time.
In February 2023, the Scottish Government published its High Level Output Statement (HLOS) and Statement of Funds Available (SoFA) detailing what it wants Scotland’s Railway to deliver and how much funding was available to make that happen.
Funding for enhancements to the railway are not included in this settlement, but Scotland’s Railway will continue to deliver a greener railway and support the Scottish Government’s net zero ambitions.
To deliver more punctual and reliable railway and improve passenger and freight customer experience, the CP7 for Scotland includes the deployment of innovative solutions and technologies to improve safety and reliability across the network. The plan includes a GBP 1.9 billion (EUR 2.2 billion) investment to be used for renewals which will drive improvements in safety and reliability. Under the CP7 for Scotland, Network Rail will support all railway users by investing more in climate change adaptation to improve the resilience of the rail network to the increasing impact of extreme weather and by continuing the development of our longer-term climate change adaptation strategy for Scotland’s Railway. The British rail infrastructure manager says that “this will help us to assess and understand the impact of climate change on the railway.”
When approaching economic growth and connectivity, the plan involves the work on the Levenmouth rail link which will extend the economic, leisure and tourism benefits of rail. The investment will also be addressed to the increase of rail freight transport through an ambitious but realistic target of 8.7% growth, with a single freight train taking up to 129 heavy goods vehicles (HGVs) off the road.