A new rail team for the north east has today been announced by Humza Yousaf, Minister for Transport and the Islands. The Aberdeen to Central Belt Team will review options for capacity improvements between Aberdeen and Dundee, as well as options for double tracking Usan Junction and the South Esk viaduct at Montrose. Drawing together regional and railway interests, members will include representatives from Transport Scotland, Nestrans and Tactran; as well as the ScotRail Alliance, Freight and passenger rail service operators.
Mr Yousaf said:
“The Scottish Government is determined to improve journey times, capacity and performance for passengers, for sustainable freight transport and for businesses on this key corridor.
“Our aim is to ensure the rail service between Aberdeen and the Central belt improves transport connectivity and provides enhanced performance when travelling between cities.
“That is why I believe this new team, led by Transport Scotland, with substantial regional input and expertise will make a positive contribution to shaping the future of rail in the north east.”
Nestrans Director, Derick Murray said:
“Nestrans have been working hard, alongside colleagues from Aberdeen City and Aberdeenshire councils, to present the case for investment in north east rail travel and connectivity to the central belt, and following our productive discussions with the Minister, we welcomed his commitment to regularly monitor progress on this project.
“Nestrans are very pleased to now form part of the new review team and look forward to working alongside our rail partners to improve the north east’s links with the central belt.
“The creation of the group comes at a key time for rail travel in the north east where we have seen incredible growth over the last decade in passenger figures combined with predictions of increased demand for rail travel for the decade ahead.
“We know that ease of connectivity plays a vital role in the success of the north east’s economy and Nestrans will continue to work to improve accessibility on both a local and a national level.”
The Aberdeen to Central Belt Team is expected to commence its work next month and this will be undertaken in relation to the Scottish Government’s additional £200 million investment, announced alongside the Aberdeen City Region Deal, with the intention to deliver improvements within the ten year city deal period.