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Scottish rail decarbonisation plan unveiled

Today (28th July) Transport Secretary Michael Matheson launched his blueprint to decarbonise Scotland’s passenger rail services by 2035.  

The Cabinet Secretary was speaking during a visit to ScotRail’s Shields Road electric fleet depot where he revealed Transport Scotland’s ‘Rail Services Decarbonisation Action Plan.’

The plan is testament to the Scottish Government’s persistence to bring on its Programme for Government (PfG) pledge to decarbonise passenger rail services and continue to decrease carbon emissions.

Through its contribution to decarbonising wider transport, and through model shift to rail, this action plan supports the aims of the National Transport Strategy, and wider Scottish Government policy.

It also looks to remove diesel passenger trains from Scottish services, and secure significant benefits for rail freight over the next 15-25 years.  

Preparations are underway for the first electrification projects, on the East Kilbride and Barrhead lines, is already underway, with Anniesland/Maryhill and Borders routes also being progressed.

Early work has also begun to assess how inter-city routes can be undertook to inform delivery programmes and funding decisions.

Mr Matheson said: “The current covid-19 pandemic has been a challenging and difficult time across the globe.  As we continue transition through the Scottish Government’s Routemap to Recovery it is clear we need to do all we can to boost the economy through green initiatives.

“While our Programme for Government commitment to publish our plans for decarbonising Scotland’s railways was rightly paused, I am now pleased we can share them.  This is particularly important for the rail industry and its supply chain who are keen to see projects progress.

DAP Routemap to 2035

“Building on our recent strong track record of delivering electrification projects we have set out ambitious but achievable plans to decarbonise our rail passenger services by 2035, five years ahead of the UK target.”

Alex Hynes, Managing Director of Scotland’s Railway, said: “Delivering on the Scottish Government’s bold and ambitious Rail Decarbonisation Action Plan is a top priority for Scotland’s Railway.

“We’re continually working to deliver a cleaner, greener railway for Scotland. Although rail is already a low-carbon mode of transport, we are committed to reducing our environmental impact ever further.”

David Clarke, Technical Director of the Railway Industry Association (RIA), said: “The Plan published today is very welcome and is an important step in the journey towards decarbonising the passenger railway in Scotland by 2035.

“The Plan sets out a clear focus on decarbonising the network through a rolling programme of electrification and investment in low carbon self-powered rolling stock, both of which the rail industry stands ready to deliver."

Images: Transport for Scotland 


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