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STRATEGIC BLUEPRINT FOR BETTER RAILWAYS

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The Strategic Rail Authority (SRA) today published a report setting out the steps it proposes to take to create a s...
The Strategic Rail Authority (SRA) today published a report setting out the steps it proposes to take to create a safer, better and bigger railway system for Scotland.

In particular, the plan includes details for the development of Waverley Station, capacity in the Central belt and on rail access to Glasgow and Edinburgh airports.

Over the next five years, improvements for Scotland include:

* Three new lines: Milngavie - Larkhall, Stirling - Alloa, and Edinburgh Crossrail

* Six new stations and interchange improvements at Partick, Gourock and Markinch

* Modern facilities at around 140 stations throughout Scotland

* Additional capacity on Kilmarnock and Paisley to Glasgow lines

* Refurbishment of class 318 electric trains and reliability improvements for class 170 diesel trains

The SRA's plans for Scotland are part of a UK-wide initiative to invest billions of pounds in the rail network over the next decade. Transport minister Wendy Alexander welcomed the SRA's plans as a practical way of helping to meet the executive's rail ambitions.

She said:

'The SRA's ambitious Strategic Plan is good news for Scottish rail users. It recognises enough is enough - and is the start of planning for a railway fit for the 21st century. For the first time in almost 50 years we are now planning for the expansion of the railway.

'The vision is in place - the challenge is now to move on to deliver on it. Many of Scotland's rail improvement priority projects are highlighted. Their delivery will require partnership between the SRA, the Scottish executive and Strathclyde Passenger Transport Executive.

'We need the investment in infrastructure to get Scotland moving better than ever before. I particularly welcome the combination of short, medium and long term measures for the next ten years that will enable the industry to plan effectively.

'Passengers will see improvements to their journey's to and from and within Scotland. Expanding capacity at Waverley Station is vital to delivering better services all over Scotland.

'And rail access to both Glasgow and Edinburgh airports are necessary milestones in delivering a modern integrated transport system for Scotland.

'Together with the SRA and other partners, the Scottish executive is committed to achieving a 21st century rail service delivering sustainable social and economic development for a modern Scotland.'

The short, medium and long term measures contained in the Plan are designed to meet the needs of passengers and freight customers and contribute to the delivery of the executive's document Strategic Priorities for Scotland Railways.

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