Decarbonisation of Scotland’s Railways

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clc

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The Scottish Government has published its Infrastructure Plan for the next 5 years. It states that £550 million will be spent on rail decarbonisation over the period. It also states that £200 million will be invested in the Aberdeen- Central Belt line. A total of £1.2 billion will be spent on enhancements but there’s no info on the other projects.

Pages 50 and 54 - https://www.gov.scot/binaries/conte...otland-2021-22-2025-26.pdf?forceDownload=true

The Scottish Electrification thread has been closed so had to open a new thread.
 
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waverley47

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The Scottish government budget was announced last week so this is all the documentation to go along with it.

Mentioned in other documents (see this website for the full list of reports) are a couple of interesting points. Be warned, there are about eight individual reports that relate to railways, not including the full list of recommendations posted by CLC. Would recommend reading only if you have a lot of free time.

- Fife circle and Levenmouth, and the Borders line are next in the lost for electrification, after the East Kilbride lines. The rationale behind East Kilbride seems to be replacement of the 156s, the report says "these will become life expired around 2025." Doesn't seem much time to order new stuff for the rural routes in that case. Looks like the 158s and 170s from Fife and Tweedbank routes will be cascaded after the knitting goes up.

- Waverley, Glasgow Central, Perth and Inverness stations each get a big bucket of money to be fixed. Waverley masterplan is obviously in the works, and we've seen plans for Inverness and Perth, but Glasgow Central could be interesting.

- Glasgow and Edinburgh each get funding for transit improvements, read: Edinburgh trams and Glasgow metro. One of the reports mentioned converting the Cathcart lines to metro which has been talked about on here a lot, but could be interesting. *NOTE, the documents do not allocate funding, instead this is a commitment to fund whatever the business case comes up with.

- Multimodal funding. There's a huge chunk of change going for creation of multimodal hubs, and improvements of joined up public transport. This is spread across all transport, but there seems to be a desire to make connections between ferries, busses and trains easier. Combined with improvements already planned at Ardrossan, this could be interesting. We might finally see some progress towards joined up public transport.

- Rail freight funding. The main example given is W12 clearance of the GSW route, but there are some interesting things in there. The class 93s get a mention as well!!!

There's a couple of other things about bringing forward more renewals and enhancements in order to do gauge clearance for wires simultaneously, which will be a big help, in addition to the funding for the Aberdeen line mentioned above. Looks interesting

EDIT: Didn't notice before, but there's an interesting nod to the Orion project in there. The station redevelopments should provide access for light freight and roll cages to be transshipped for onward travel in electric vehicles.
 
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snookertam

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Ive also bookmarked. The Glasgow metro is an interesting one, I’ve lost count of the proposals that have been ditched do we’ll see how far this gets. That said, I’m still skeptical of the suitability of the Cathcart lines for conversion to light rail.

Borders and Fife for electrification sounds good - I’d argue the wires should go all the way to Dundee, link up with Dunblane too and it’s a big chunk of the network done. Can look to introduce bi-modes for Aberdeen and Inverness then.
 

waverley47

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I agree with the Glasgow metro point, I've certainly seen about fifteen iterations from before the airport rail link to the current plans for a tram. I get the impression the Scottish government has finally got fed up of the dithering, and has told them to just come up with something decent and we'll pay for it.

Indeed, the whole lot of reports sound very Keynesian, with the government allocating buckets of cash for infrastructure across the country, and more emphasis on doing than planning.
 

waverley47

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I'm guessing the Glasgow Metro is not an extension of the Subway?

Definitley not. The exact phrase used is

"new transit options for Glasgow, which should include one or more of bus, light rail, metro or heavy rail, with the network complimenting and being integrated with the bus and heavy rail networks. It may include completely new alignments, reuse of disused former railway alignments and/or conversion of existing alignments to a new mode". All in all, a bit vague, but still promising.

The subway is mentioned separately, getting £128m to continue and complete the upgrade currently underway.
 

mcmad

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The Scottish government budget was announced last week so this is all the documentation to go along with it.

Mentioned in other documents (see this website for the full list of reports) are a couple of interesting points. Be warned, there are about eight individual reports that relate to railways, not including the full list of recommendations posted by CLC. Would recommend reading only if you have a lot of free time.

- Fife circle and Levenmouth, and the Borders line are next in the lost for electrification, after the East Kilbride lines. The rationale behind East Kilbride seems to be replacement of the 156s, the report says "these will become life expired around 2025." Doesn't seem much time to order new stuff for the rural routes in that case. Looks like the 158s and 170s from Fife and Tweedbank routes will be cascaded after the knitting goes up.

- Waverley, Glasgow Central, Perth and Inverness stations each get a big bucket of money to be fixed. Waverley masterplan is obviously in the works, and we've seen plans for Inverness and Perth, but Glasgow Central could be interesting.

- Glasgow and Edinburgh each get funding for transit improvements, read: Edinburgh trams and Glasgow metro. One of the reports mentioned converting the Cathcart lines to metro which has been talked about on here a lot, but could be interesting. *NOTE, the documents do not allocate funding, instead this is a commitment to fund whatever the business case comes up with.

- Multimodal funding. There's a huge chunk of change going for creation of multimodal hubs, and improvements of joined up public transport. This is spread across all transport, but there seems to be a desire to make connections between ferries, busses and trains easier. Combined with improvements already planned at Ardrossan, this could be interesting. We might finally see some progress towards joined up public transport.

- Rail freight funding. The main example given is W12 clearance of the GSW route, but there are some interesting things in there. The class 93s get a mention as well!!!

There's a couple of other things about bringing forward more renewals and enhancements in order to do gauge clearance for wires simultaneously, which will be a big help, in addition to the funding for the Aberdeen line mentioned above. Looks interesting

EDIT: Didn't notice before, but there's an interesting nod to the Orion project in there. The station redevelopments should provide access for light freight and roll cages to be transshipped for onward travel in electric vehicles.
Note that its only the Leven section of Fife that is proposed for electrification as part of Phase 1, presumably as it is cheaper to construct a fully electrified 'new' line than come back when the rest of Fife is electrified.
 

clc

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So which section of the Borders Line will be partially electrified?
Borders Line Decarbonisation: removal of diesel-powered units through the introduction of Battery Electric Multiple Unit (BEMU) train services, via partial electrification, with the potential for full electrification of the line and move to full-electric (EMU) services in the future.
 

scotrail158713

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So which section of the Borders Line will be partially electrified?
Maybe out to Gorebridge? It’s already electrified to Newcraighall, so out to Midlothian might be the next step.
(This is pure speculation from me though)
 

HST43257

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I’ll be very happy to see the 158s transfer to the WHL if the speculation is true. I was very happy with my experiences on them in the highlands a couple of years ago. Any spare 170s would be gladly received by Northern customers. Means more 4 car 15x/195 working and/or the departure of some 150s at last!
 

route101

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I’ll be very happy to see the 158s transfer to the WHL if the speculation is true. I was very happy with my experiences on them in the highlands a couple of years ago. Any spare 170s would be gladly received by Northern customers. Means more 4 car 15x/195 working and/or the departure of some 150s at last!
I thought the plan to move 158s to WHL was ditched.
 

ld0595

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I thought the plan to move 158s to WHL was ditched.

For now it seems, but the Scottish Government's Strategic Transport Projects Review suggests that the 156s will become life expired by 2025 so I can't imagine they'll be round much longer.
 

Bevan Price

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So - from 2025, some spare 156s to cascade to Northern, to enable a start to replacement of 150s ??

Personally I think they ought to be aiming to electrify to Perth, Dundee & Aberdeen by the early 2030s.

And, off rail, the inevitable contradictory ideas. They admit that many bus journeys are unattractively slow -- then they propose to make them even worse by putting 20 mph limits on many more urban roads.
 

GRALISTAIR

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Personally I think they ought to be aiming to electrify to Perth, Dundee & Aberdeen by the early 2030s.
I don’t want to take this thread into the speculation are but with Scotland’s aggressive strategy dates I think Perth and Dundee will have to be before 2030.
 

Surreyman

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I always believed that the introduction of refurbished short HSTs would result in Diesels running under the wires for many years to come, had they ordered new bi-modes 800s or otherwise, they could have electrified northwards in increments.
 

InOban

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I attended an online transport conference last month at which Michael Matheson was the keynote speaker. It was quite clear that Fife would be discontinuous electrification with battery electric hybrids.
 

HST43257

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I always believed that the introduction of refurbished short HSTs would result in Diesels running under the wires for many years to come, had they ordered new bi-modes 800s or otherwise, they could have electrified northwards in increments.
I’d be more than open to Class 93s (electric, diesel and battery) top ’n’ tailing or push/pulling with DVT a Mk3 rake on I7C routes. No idea how likely that is, but provides a reason for phased electrification.
 

gingertom

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I’d be more than open to Class 93s (electric, diesel and battery) top ’n’ tailing or push/pulling with DVT a Mk3 rake on I7C routes. No idea how likely that is, but provides a reason for phased electrification.
I think we've seen the last of the Mk3s, they are life expired. I think CAF Mk5, like TPE's, with class 93s as you suggest, will be the way forward. CAF will have the problems sorted out by the time we get some. Transport Scotland's dislike of underfloor engines rules out 80x- type MUs.
 

HST43257

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I think we've seen the last of the Mk3s, they are life expired. I think CAF Mk5, like TPE's, with class 93s as you suggest, will be the way forward. CAF will have the problems sorted out by the time we get some. Transport Scotland's dislike of underfloor engines rules out 80x- type MUs.
I don’t think they’re life expired if ScotRail have refurbished many sets fairly recently. Leave it to 2035 to talk about being life expired.
 

Bletchleyite

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I think we've seen the last of the Mk3s, they are life expired. I think CAF Mk5, like TPE's, with class 93s as you suggest, will be the way forward. CAF will have the problems sorted out by the time we get some.

I doubt it, they're just rubbish. Which is a shame, because they are a good idea in principle, and the First Class is lovely, but they are not at all well constructed and the windows are tiny.

Transport Scotland's dislike of underfloor engines rules out 80x- type MUs.

There is a world of difference between rattly 170s and Voyagers and the 80x, so maybe they should lose their prejudices. The only way 80x are really worse than Mk3 coaches is the seats, and they can always spec something different from the default as both Avanti and EMR have. There are many ways in which they are better, e.g. the massive overheads.

Of course there's also the Swiss elephant in the room (Stadler) who are providing MUs that are effectively LHCS.
 

HSTEd

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Given that we only have to beat HSTs, that are hardly high performance by modern standards, Stadler should be able to provide something suitable.

Even if Stadler's traction packs are assumed no more efficient than the HST's (which seems silly), you need something like 1.5-2 of the traction packs of the Class 755 to match their performance.
 

gingertom

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I doubt it, they're just rubbish. Which is a shame, because they are a good idea in principle, and the First Class is lovely, but they are not at all well constructed and the windows are tiny.



There is a world of difference between rattly 170s and Voyagers and the 80x, so maybe they should lose their prejudices. The only way 80x are really worse than Mk3 coaches is the seats, and they can always spec something different from the default as both Avanti and EMR have. There are many ways in which they are better, e.g. the massive overheads.

Of course there's also the Swiss elephant in the room (Stadler) who are providing MUs that are effectively LHCS.
I think a 5 car 80x with 2 diesel sets and 2 battery packs would work well. I'm sure Stadler could put something suitable together, maybe even a 4-engine power pack with a driving cab, one at each end of a rake ;) ;)
 

waverley47

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The issue of the HSTs has been done to death. Yes, they are going to be life expired soon, but at the end of the day, that is a problem for Transport Scotland and the next concession winner to decide the next time the contract rolls around.

It would be nice to see something electric, but given the rate of wires going up and the discontinuous electrification, the only information we can glean from these reports is that whatever replaces the HSTs will have to have some large battery back up. Everything else is pure speculation.

More interestingly, there seems to be talk about the hydrogen powered 314 running on NR rails before Christmas, if the press is to be believed.
 

gingertom

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The issue of the HSTs has been done to death. Yes, they are going to be life expired soon, but at the end of the day, that is a problem for Transport Scotland and the next concession winner to decide the next time the contract rolls around.

It would be nice to see something electric, but given the rate of wires going up and the discontinuous electrification, the only information we can glean from these reports is that whatever replaces the HSTs will have to have some large battery back up. Everything else is pure speculation.

More interestingly, there seems to be talk about the hydrogen powered 314 running on NR rails before Christmas, if the press is to be believed.
That's going to be interesting to see. If this is successful, what would a production run be based on?
 

HSTEd

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I think a 5 car 80x with 2 diesel sets and 2 battery packs would work well. I'm sure Stadler could put something suitable together, maybe even a 4-engine power pack with a driving cab, one at each end of a rake ;) ;)

Even with a cab, two power packs would be shorter than a single power car!
 

clc

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I agree with the Glasgow metro point, I've certainly seen about fifteen iterations from before the airport rail link to the current plans for a tram. I get the impression the Scottish government has finally got fed up of the dithering, and has told them to just come up with something decent and we'll pay for it.

Indeed, the whole lot of reports sound very Keynesian, with the government allocating buckets of cash for infrastructure across the country, and more emphasis on doing than planning.
The Connectivity Commission suggested converting the Argyle Line to a high frequency metro and I believe this was looked at in STPR1 so presumably will be examined again in STPR2. Pressumably you'd have to build a metro interchange at Partick but what isn’t clear is what would happen to the current heavy rail services which use the Argyle Line - do they get rerouted onto the North Electric line or could they turn back east of Partick?
 

ABB125

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I attended an online transport conference last month at which Michael Matheson was the keynote speaker. It was quite clear that Fife would be discontinuous electrification with battery electric hybrids.
I wonder what the reasons for discontinuous electrification are? Various suitably-qualified persons on here have clearly stated that the Forth Bridge isn't a significant engineering challenge (the main issue being political). I'm not at all familiar with the route, so I have no idea!
 

waverley47

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I wonder what the reasons for discontinuous electrification are? Various suitably-qualified persons on here have clearly stated that the Forth Bridge isn't a significant engineering challenge (the main issue being political). I'm not at all familiar with the route, so I have no idea!

Seems to be the tunnel at Kinghorn and Inverkeithing, as well as tight clearances at bridges along the route. The Dunfermline side should be easy enough, but the coast route will be a nightmare to string wires up.

It will be interesting if the general attitude is now just to get all the easy bits done quickly, and bridge the gaps with batteries, before coming back later to complete the job. Or, if the assumption is that batteries make that unnecessary.
 

ABB125

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Seems to be the tunnel at Kinghorn and Inverkeithing, as well as tight clearances at bridges along the route. The Dunfermline side should be easy enough, but the coast route will be a nightmare to string wires up.

It will be interesting if the general attitude is now just to get all the easy bits done quickly, and bridge the gaps with batteries, before coming back later to complete the job. Or, if the assumption is that batteries make that unnecessary.
I think it's the latter assumption, unfortunately!
 
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