Scotland’s rail plans ‘should look at opportunities on Carstairs line’

Transform Scotland, the sustainable transport alliance, has called for greater attention to be given to Edinburgh-Glasgow rail route via Carstairs as a means to improve rail services for communities in Upper Clydesdale and the Western Borders.

The demand comes as part of Transform Scotland’s response to the Network Rail consultation on the ‘Edinburgh-Glasgow Improvement Programme‘.

Transform Scotland spokesperson Paul Tetlaw commented:

“As well as the main route via Falkirk, we believe that there is a need for further improvements for Edinburgh-Glasgow services via Shotts and Carstairs. Both these routes in order to offer real choice to travellers across the Central Belt.

“Semi-fast services on the Shotts line could be operated by Class 170 trains and it is imperative that a sub- one-hour journey time is delivered. Electrification of the route would further reduce journey times.

“The Carstairs route offers the possibility of opening up rail travel options to a wide catchment area. Carstairs should be developed as a railhead for communities in Upper Clydesdale and the Western Borders. By stopping services at Carluke connections to Lanark could be provided.

“At the same time the opportunity should be taken to remodel Carstairs Junction to remove the current very restrictive 15 mph speed limits. Indeed, the relocation of the station further north would make it more convenient for the village and aid the remodelling of the junction. “

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