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UK Governments continue with plans for three-hour London to Scotland journeys

Plans to reduce train times between Scotland and England have taken a step closer to completion with feasibility studies commissioned on a number of routes.

Starting in 2016, the joint project between the UK and Scottish governments originally looked to identify areas for improvement, particularly on the east and west coast rail corridors.

This included a major focus on the provision of three-hour services between Scottish stations and London.

Phase one of the plans has been completed, leaving a shortlist of options which will be subject to feasibility studies. The east coast line south of Dunbar towards Newcastle and the west coast line between Glasgow and Carstairs are the main focus of these reports.

Proposals are expected to identify plans to improve train journey times, capacity, resilience and reliability of Scotland-England services.

In addition, the study will also consider the potential for new cross-border stations within the Eurocentral business park and on the existing rail network near Livingston.

“I am determined for us to take the necessary steps to secure Scotland’s future and improve our connectivity with England,” said Scotland’s first minister Nicola Sturgeon.

“This work will provide us with the knowledge to make informed investments in the next ten years and move us towards our goal of a three-hour journey time to London and substantially reduced journey times to the cities in between.”

The minister confirmed hopes that new plans could reduce journey time between Newcastle and Edinburgh by a third – to just one hour. As well as shortening times between Edinburgh, Glasgow and Carlisle.

Journeys between Edinburgh and Glasgow are already expected to improve in future with the development of the EGIP.

Last week, the project saw the first Class 385 travel the full distance between Edinburgh and Glasgow. It is expected to be the beginning of a new set of services which will speeding up journeys and increasing capacity on the line.

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Huguenot   07/11/2017 at 09:45

New "cross-border stations"? Uh-huh? Eurocentral and Livingston are of course nowhere near the Border.

Vivek   07/11/2017 at 11:42

And on the West Coast in the next 50 years, there should be a tunnel constructed between Heat Bank and Carlisle/ Kingmoor to speed up cross border journeys on West coast and the existing line becoming a commuter spine in Cumbria and Lancashire, with station reopenings / retimings

Mark Hare   07/11/2017 at 12:03

So Nicola Sturgeon says 'I am determined for us to take the necessary steps to secure Scotland’s future and improve our connectivity with England' - really!? As I recall she couldn't wait to 'disconnect' with England, I'm sure if she could rebuild Hadrian's Wall she would!

Burto46   07/11/2017 at 17:14

This is good to hear especially the words "resilience and robustness". The West Coast would need the greatest work, especially around Carlisle and possible some of the bridges in the Clyde valley. From Newcastle to Edinburgh the fragility of the cliff-edge route just north of Berwick is an issue, along with the sharp curve through Morpeth. Some loops need to be extended to reflect increased freight loads, and most important: the ECML must become a viable alternative for freight when the WCML becomes impassable, which wasn't possible a couple of years back. I await with interest.

Andrew Gwilt   08/11/2017 at 03:38

Scotland relies on better transportation. Same with England, Wales and Northern Ireland. Despite HS2 won’t be extended to Scotland but will provide better journey times that HS2 trains will operate on National Rail lines to Edinburgh and Glasgow via using the WCML and ECML. As HS2 will provide easier journey times between London and the North of England.

David Walker   08/11/2017 at 13:58

@Mark Hare At risk of sounding pedantic, Hadrian's Wall has not been a border point for about 1700 years! As a resident of Northumberland, England, and twenty miles north of said wall, you have casually placed me in Scotland! Although with the recent activities of Mr Grayling et al, I suspect that the railways in the north would get a better deal from Scotland than Westminster!

Mark Hare   08/11/2017 at 14:44

@David Walker - indeed, I am aware however if Sturgeon could expand Scotland to encroach on England twenty miles at a time I'm sure she would! I'm not sure how they intend to achieve these reductions in journey times - won't the dreaded cost/benefit analysis rule out any major improvements to infrastructure? One hour for the 124 miles from Edinburgh to Newcastle seems wildly optimistic to me.

Geordie   10/11/2017 at 14:28

@David Walker Indeed..most of Newcastle is actually North of said wall let alone the beautiful county of Northumberland.

TT Construction   21/12/2017 at 13:14

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