Expansions for Scotland's rail network proposed

Discussion in 'Infrastructure & Stations' started by och aye, 21 Nov 2014.

  1. och aye

    och aye Member

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  3. ian1944

    ian1944 Member

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  4. Altnabreac

    Altnabreac Established Member

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    It's a slightly strange list of lines and stations from Railfuture.

    Quite a few advanced station reopening projects are missing: Dalcross, Kintore and Robroyston are all likely to reopen in the next few years and are not on the list.

    It's also missing other stations under active consideration for funding by regional transport partnerships like Auchenback, Newburgh, Ravenscraig and Glenboig.

    There are also some odd things like Dundee Airport (2 flights per day?) being on the list but not Dundee West (big hospital and business park) which is a well advanced scheme nearby that's likely to go ahead in CP5 and is bound to have a much stronger business case.

    Another odd one is showing both Bridge of Earn and Oudenarde when there is no way both will go ahead but not including the aforementioned Newburgh which is much more likely to happen.

    Equally Bucksburn/Persley is about options to locate a single station but is shown as 2 stations here.

    The full list of 23 line reopenings doesn't seem to be in the article but Lossiemouth is definitely a no hoper so it makes you worry what else is on there that the Scotsman didn't pick.

    If you want to see a better version of the graphic I can't find it on the Railfuture website but it is here:
    http://www.beattockstationactiongroup.org.uk/wp-content/uploads/2014/11/top50stations.pdf
    --- old post above --- --- new post below ---
    Found the full list of the 23 line reopenings here:
    http://www.railfuture.org.uk/tiki-index.php?page=Press+release+15th+November+2014

    There's some real no hopers there like Lossiemouth, Strathaven and Cairnryan.

    It includes the 4 line reopenings that I suspect have the best business cases in Scotland: Levenmouth, Grangemouth, Penicuik and Bridge of Weir.

    Couple of interesting options for short, cheap extensions to existing terminating services: South Kilmarnock and Alloway for example.

    Slightly odd omission is the Banchory branch which I reckon would actually have a fairly decent BCR and is more viable than half the schemes on this list.
     
  5. Northern_Light

    Northern_Light Member

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    Will we give the authors of this report the benefit of the doubt re Bucksburn/Persley and say that they simply haven't made up their minds yet about the best location for a new station between ABD and DYC? If this does see the light of day (probably well into CP6), I would most seriously consider setting up shop on the west side of Bucksburn village. As well as the current village population (c.7,200), there is the small matter of 1,000 new houses currently being built on the site of the old Mugiemoss paper mill just on the other side of the line. The population within easy reach of a potential station at Persley is a good deal smaller.

    If you're talking about reopening the old Banchory line (Crathes, Drumoak, Peterculter, Bieldside, Cults etc), then it looks a complete non starter to me. Aberdeen City Council have spent a not inconsiderable fortune converting the trackbed in their zone into a high quality walking and cycle path. The regular users of this path would almost certainly be up in arms about the return of the railway along the old route. Also, I doubt that the well heeled residents along this route would appreciate the rattle generated by the passing trains every hour or so.

    I have a suggestion for an alternative route for an Aberdeen-Banchory line. But as it would be something of a fantasist's dream, it's for another thread sometime in the (probably far distant) future.
    --- old post above --- --- new post below ---
    Will we give the authors of this report the benefit of the doubt re Bucksburn/Persley and say that they simply haven't made up their minds yet about the best location for a new station between ABD and DYC? If this does see the light of day (probably well into CP6), I would most seriously consider setting up shop on the west side of Bucksburn village. As well as the current village population (c.7,200), there is the small matter of 1,000 new houses currently being built on the site of the old Mugiemoss paper mill just on the other side of the line. The population within easy reach of a potential station at Persley is a good deal smaller.

    If you're talking about reopening the old Banchory line (Crathes, Drumoak, Peterculter, Bieldside, Cults etc), then it looks a complete non starter to me. Aberdeen City Council have spent a not inconsiderable fortune converting the trackbed in their zone into a high quality walking and cycle path. The regular users of this path would almost certainly be up in arms about the return of the railway along the old route. Also, I doubt that the well heeled residents along this route would appreciate the rattle generated by the passing trains every hour or so.

    I have a suggestion for an alternative route for an Aberdeen-Banchory line. But as it would be something of a fantasist's dream, it's for another thread sometime in the (probably far distant) future.
     
  6. clc

    clc Established Member

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    Would the Alloway line run along the cycle path and terminate near the new Burns Museum? I assume that was the original alignment from looking at Google satellite view.
    --- old post above --- --- new post below ---
    Actually there are plans for a large residential/commercial development nearby which include a rail halt on the existing line so I guess this would also serve Alloway: http://www.jtp.co.uk/public/uploads/pdfs/south_east_ayr_scotland.pdf
     
  7. adrock1976

    adrock1976 Established Member

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    I've noticed that the much needed Glasgow Crossrail is mentioned in the list.

    The infrastructure already exists and would only need overhead wires from Shields Road to Bellgrove, plus minor engineering works.

    Build platforms at West Street to interchange with the underground, reopen both Cumberland Street and Glasgow Cross stations (platforms already in situ), and build the high speed rail station on the site of the former College Goods Yard near Bellgrove.

    In peace

    Adam
     
  8. Altnabreac

    Altnabreac Established Member

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    Your guess is as good as mine! That development is interesting but the proposed halt would actually be south of any diverging junction to Alloway and the curvature of the old branch looks tricky to put a station in around there on the branch.

    Suspect the business case for 2 new stations (at Belmont and that new development) combined with electrification would be much better than an Alloway branch reopening anyway.
     
  9. DaveNewcastle

    DaveNewcastle Established Member Fares Advisor

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    I heard it being discussed by SNP voices in Glasgow City Council earlier in the month.
     
  10. clc

    clc Established Member

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    Did they sound supportive?
     
  11. DaveNewcastle

    DaveNewcastle Established Member Fares Advisor

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    The phrase was its "back on the agenda". (Which of course means 'planning to tell people that they might soon start talking about something - or not'; it does not mean 'doing something'. It also doesn't tell us anything about whose budget might be expected to fund the scheme.)
     
    Last edited: 23 Nov 2014
  12. Altnabreac

    Altnabreac Established Member

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    Crossrail is still a solution seeking a problem. It's great for local regeneration in Tradeston, Gorbals and the East End.

    The problem has been people keep trying to promote it as some sort of strategic answer to all Scotland's transport problems which it really isn't.

    Diverting existing services onto Crossrail will create strong disbenefits as Glasgow Cross is not as good a location for most passengers as Central or Queen St.

    So to work Crossrail really needs to find lines with capacity for extra services to run over it, rather than just diverting existing services.

    I could see something like a 4tph Springburn - Braehead service working well but for that to work you need to:
    refurbish and electrify the City Union line
    provide extra capacity at Bellgrove (new platform?),
    4 new stations: Glasgow Cross, Gorbals, West St, Ibrox;
    2 new interchanges on Argyle Line / Subway at Glasgow Cross / West St.
    Extra capacity from West St - Hillington
    Upgrade and refurbish freight line to Braehead.
    2 new stations at Braehead and Renfrew

    Suddenly it's turned from a simple freight line reopening to a major £200m+ investment.

    Not saying it shouldn't happen but it's not a simple quick win scheme like some people try and promote it as.
     
  13. clc

    clc Established Member

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    Network Rail recently mentioned that the expansion of the concourse at Queen St was necessary partly because of scope to increase service frequency on the low level line. Could the plan be to run services from the South Side to Charing Cross via the City Union line? Tram trains from Paisley Canal or from the airport calling at all intermediate stations including Hillington & Cardonald?

    Ive often thought a direct south-west connection would do well. The area around Charing Cross is a growing business centre with major employers such as Santander and soon Scottish Power which is building it's HQ there. And obviously there'd be regeneration benefits for Laurieston and Gallowgate.

    Billions have been spent completing the motorway network around Glasgow, it's time for some serious rail investment in the city.
    --- old post above --- --- new post below ---
    Come to think of it, given who the new FM is we probably shouldn't be surprised if a major Glasgow project with regeneration benefits is back on the agenda.
    --- old post above --- --- new post below ---
    The local MSP Derek Mackay has just been appointed Transport Minister so perhaps the chances of Renfrew getting a station just improved:

    http://www.eveningtimes.co.uk/news/plan-to-deliver-railway-link-to-renfrew.18802658
     
  14. Altnabreac

    Altnabreac Established Member

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    Yep Braehead and Renfrew would be in Derek Mackay's constituency while Ibrox, West Street and Gorbals would be in Nicola Sturgeon's. Could definitely make progress politically...
     
  15. clc

    clc Established Member

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    I think the politicians would want Renfrew to have a direct service to the city centre in which case you'd have to run it via Queen St low level which obviously means building the St Johns link and a turnback west of Charing Cross. Perhaps you could also run some additional services from Inverclyde to Queen St/Charing Cross.
     
  16. DarloRich

    DarloRich Veteran Member

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    Perhaps they could reopen the Lochwinnoch Loop Line ;)
     
  17. och aye

    och aye Member

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    Glasgow Crossrail seems like another Edinburgh South Sub - a proposal that comes up every few years then dies down again.

    If a line was to reopen which would be the most viable one to do? I personally think St Andrews has a lot of merits, but then again I'm sure every campaign to reopen their line would say theirs has a better case! :p
     
  18. clc

    clc Established Member

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  19. me123

    me123 Established Member

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    Rail to Renfrew seems to me to have the problem that it's going to take up further valuable space on the Glasgow-Paisley corridor and in GLC station. This was one of the problems that I had with GARL and its frankly silly plans to take four non-stop paths an hour between Glasgow and Paisley and run to Glasgow Airport, almost certainly with very few passengers, whilst the busy lines in Ayrshire were denied room to grow. (The idea of a rail line to the airport was, of course, good. The reality of that particular plan was not.)

    The infrastructure already in place sees a line diverge just West of Cardonald. A new line diverging West of the Hillington stations looks unlikely to find a way into the centre of Renfrew, so is unlikely to take over the local calls in Hillington (if I could bulldoze a few dozen homes I'd run a local service to Renfrew via Hillington, but I don't think the locals would appreciate it too much!).

    This is where Crossrail becomes quite useful, I'd argue. Running to Renfrew without clogging up Central would be an attractive solution, although I do wonder if not calling at a central Glasgow station would weaken the business case for a Renfrew station? Nevertheless, it will have an interchange with the North Clydes at Bellgrove and could have one with the Argyle line at Glasgow Cross, and the Subway at West Street which would help a lot. As would a direct rail link to Braehead (on a side note, I think the public transport links to Glasgow's three "new" out of town shopping centres at Braehead, Silverburn and Glasgow Fort are a disgrace). Could this then be continued to Glasgow Airport, providing an alternative GARL solution?

    Relocating High Street and using the proposed curve is yet another expense, but a Charing Cross - Renfrew service would again be a possibility if a turn back was provided at Kelvinhaugh.

    TBH though, Crossrail is a bit of a messy solution to Glasgow's core rail problem, which is a disconnect between the North and South of the Clyde. I don't think it addresses the problem areas as well as some would like us to believe. It will see trains bypassing the city centre and attempts to get trains to Queen Street are going to simply lengthen journey times at quite considerable expense (I suspect relocating High Street Station in to a tunnel is not going to come cheap). It will do little to alleviate the problem of poor links between Central and Queen Street. A lack of paths through Partick, and a lack of space to expand Partick station mean that trains are going to need turned back at Exhibition Centre or Kelvinhaugh, which dilutes benefits further by removing direct rail access to the popular West End of the city.

    What we've seen with Cumbernauld being re-routed to GLQ LL is that it's extended journey times, and I'm pretty sure that it's going back to the High Level when electrification is done. This is because they didn't build the Garngad chord (which would have bypassed Springburn) and I suspect closing Springburn station (in one of the most deprived areas of Glasgow) would be politically sensitive, even with a relocated station on the chord. Furthermore, Robroyston station is in the pipeline, and if the Cumbernauld runs were permanently re-routed it would have very few passing trains which could stop there!

    I suspect that any plans to reroute Renfrewshire commuters into the low level at Queen Street would be met with similar resistance. It would be slower than going to Central HL and therefore shunned in favour of the direct fast trains which would continue to pick up the slack (although Renfrew wouldn't likely have that problem, being a new route). So, 2tph Renfrew-Springburn and 2tph Renfrew-Charing Cross(-somewhere in the West, if paths allow) might work, but would be expensive.

    Another question - does Renfrew really then need a heavy rail link? Getting trains there is clearly no easy feat, and I can't find an elegant solution that doesn't create capacity problems. But Renfrew should at some point in the future be getting Clyde Fastlink, which is really a diluted plan for a Glasgow Tram line. This was heralded as a key part of the Commonwealth Games transport plan, and quietly forgotten about. (SPT's website still proudly boasts that it will be in place for the Commonwealth Games... well done). It may not be rail, but an off-road bus line from Glasgow City Centre - Partick/West End - South Glasgow University Hospital - Braehead - Renfrew - Glasgow Airport could be a competitive solution. And it would solve plenty of problems. It would be a fast and frequent route from Renfrew to Glasgow. It would provide connectivity between the West End and the South Side. It would provide an excellent link to the new South Glasgow University Hospital (the existing Southern General has dire bus links, particularly to the West End). And it would provide excellent airport links. I think a light rail network would be better, but Scotland is unlikely to ever support one again in my lifetime after that fiasco in Edinburgh.

    Just my two cents.

    As for the other proposals in last year's article... Lossiemouth? Really? It's like a ghost town. It's quite nice in its own way but I can't see it ever warranting a rail link. However, with a proposed 2tph Inverness to Elgin (with one continuing to Aberdeen), it could perhaps be justified if and only if the proposed Elgin terminator has nowhere else to go for long enough to allow it to jaunt down to Lossie, and if the line can be built cheaply (single track the whole way should suffice).

    St Andrew's (presumably to Edinburgh) has more legs, but has a similar issue to Renfrew in that you'll be taking away paths through Fife to serve the town. If you could find a way of providing the service without depriving the existing service (most notably, 2tph Edinburgh-Dundee), then perhaps it would work.

    Haddington isn't likely either - well off the ECML so you'd either be diverting trains (and slowing them down in the process) or adding new trains to an already busy line. Staying with Edinburgh suburbs, Penicuik wouldn't be a bad suggestion, but this would be a completely new route which would need a strong business case. But perhaps an extension of the Newcraighall line would be a possibility, calling at Eskbank (new station with Borders Rail Link) and then turn out via Bonnyrigg. Would Newcraighall and Eskbank warrant 4tph though?

    Glasgow - Paisley - Linwood - Bridge of Weir - Kilmacolm would suffer from similar issues to Renfrew, but again if you can overcome this I suspect that the line could be justified (perhaps divert Paisley Canal to GLQ LL as well as all the above?).

    Most of the 50 stations proposed, though, are a bit easier to achieve, and would be new calls on existing services. Here's a link to a map.
     
    Last edited: 29 Jan 2015
  20. Bodiddly

    Bodiddly Member

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    I can't understand why the Crossrail project isn't being given serious thought. New schemes are usually shelved because of costs but in the case of Crossrail, surely it wouldn't take a huge amount of money to implement it given the fact that the line is already in place. I know that the City Union would need upgraded to take passenger trains and as for the lack of a chord line to take trains back into Glasgow, would it be such a hassle to reverse the trains at Bellgrove station? My thoughts would be a service from the West i.e Dalmuir to Braehead via the City Union and then using the spur that feeds Deanside Transit as this line ends very close to the Braehead centre. The infrastructure is in place at this end of the line and again, would only take a small amount of funding to convert it to take passenger trains. Another service that would be benificial would be to run a diesel service from Dalmuir and run it up through Cowlairs, Springburn, down to the City Union and on to Braehead as there would be no need for turning back at Bellgrove.
     
  21. SkinnyDave

    SkinnyDave Established Member

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    If be happy if they sorted Perth-Edinburgh first :|
     
  22. me123

    me123 Established Member

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    Yes, it would be such a hassle. The current reversal at Springburn for the Cumbernauld trains is probably a key reason why the low level diversion isn't ever going to be a long-term solution for this route. I can't see reversing being popular. You'd also need to create additional infrastructure at Bellgrove to allow trains to reverse without impacting on the 8tph currently running through the station.

    Crossrail isn't all that cheap. Not if it's going to be done well. In addition to the chord and expensive relocation of High Street into the oldest rail tunnel in Glasgow, you've also got Glasgow Cross (including, ideally, an interchange with the Argyle Line, so that's a station above and below ground level), a good interchange at West Street for the Subway, and probably a station at Ibrox too. The reality is that, even if Crossrail did get the go-ahead, it isn't going to be done to this standard so it will fall short. And, as I say, Paisley commuters would certainly resent a tour of the East End on the way into Glasgow (much more so if you had to reverse at Bellgrove).
     
  23. Bodiddly

    Bodiddly Member

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    I don't necessarily agree with your point about reversing, this could be done with a slightly longer dwell time than a train calling at the station normally. How long does it take for a driver to switch ends? But if it was a problem, it wouldn't cost the earth to put chord in. I'm not saying Crossrail could be done on a shoestring but we are not talking London billions here.
     
    Last edited: 29 Jan 2015
  24. tranzitjim

    tranzitjim Member

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    What about expanding the Glasgow underground?

    Would the scots look at a link to the Shetlands, or some of the other islands around their coast?
     
  25. me123

    me123 Established Member

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    As I say, it's definitely not a preferred option. Look again at Cumbernauld. The plan was to re-route the trains to the low level. With the Garngad Chord scrapped, that means the trains need to reverse, increasing journey times quite significantly. To compensate, 1tph continues to operate to the high level (3tph total) with a plans to return to the existing service pattern when Glasgow Queen Street works (including electrification) are complete. They've allowed 5 minutes for reversing at Springburn, and adding in the additional stops between GLQ and Springburn just adds more time. Crossrail would have the same issue for existing services.

    What lines are likely to use Crossrail? Most likely, Paisley Canal and a proposed Renfrew link. Renfrew could maybe get away with reversing (it would still be a new link for them), but it will be perceived as slow. Paisley Canal would have to endure longer journey times to the city centre as a result. As would any other line being diverted this way; the users of the much longer services to Ayrshire and Inverclyde would vociferously object to what would amount to a significant increase in journey time as a result of the new route (probably 10 minutes extra). As I say, you'd also need to reconstruct Bellgrove to allow this to happen efficiently (although that shouldn't be prohibitively expensive). You'll also have to, as I've already mentioned, fit the services into the 8tph going through Bellgrove at the moment, which is another two tph through the tunnel if you're going to be reversing at Bellgrove. (e.g. if just 4tph were using the line, you'd see a total of eight additional trains per hour passing though the tunnel, increasing total passenger traffic by 50%).

    I don't have any costings for relocating High Street, but I can't imagine that building a station inside the oldest tunnel in Scotland and underneath the University of Strathclyde is going to be cheap. It will also cause massive disruption for services from Lanarkshire for quite some time.
    --- old post above --- --- new post below ---
    I'll ignore your other comment, but expansion of the Subway has been much mooted for probably over a century. One of the (many) other proposals for Commonwealth Games transport that was subsequently forgotten about was for an East End Circle. (Interestingly, I've come across mentions that it was a "done deal" before the 2014 games, although the Evening Times has mysteriously removed the story itself...). Here's just one suggestion for an East End Circle that never happened:
    [​IMG]

    There's also been talk of integrating the Cathcart Lines into a metro style system that would ultimately run as an underground on the approach to the City Centre. This would free up quite a but of free space in GLC High Level. Exactly how this would be achieved, I have no idea. But you could give the lines a huge increase in service frequency by this way.

    As I've already suggested, I think an overground tram solution linking the City Centre to the West End and then on to the SGUH, Renfrew and the Airport would be the best new public transport initiative in the city. (provided you could run off-road as much as possible). It could be achieved with minimal cost and provide multiple valuable connections, including an airport link, without impacting on the existing rail services. (I've got a notional plan in my head that I might beef up in the future, time permitting). Of course, thanks to Edinburgh's trams, this will never happen, but we will get Clyde Fastlink. Maybe. Unless that's been swept under the carpet in the council HQ. Besides, I wouldn't trust Glasgow's particularly useless Labour led council to negotiate something like that anyway.
     
    Last edited: 29 Jan 2015
  26. MarkyT

    MarkyT Established Member

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    Trams have clearly got a bad name in Scotland now but that was not the technology, but rather poor contracts and management of the particular project. Perhaps Glasgow should show Edinburgh how a tram project should be done! The fastlink proposal is interesting insofar as it shows how a high quality bus priority scheme should be done, unlike the recent cut price Bristol proposals.
     
  27. matchmaker

    matchmaker Member

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    Shetland would need a friggin long tunnel!
     
  28. TheKnightWho

    TheKnightWho Established Member

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    Orkney is feasible.

    Not sure why Skye hasn't already been connected. It's 10,000 people, the railway goes right up to the sea already, and you could even use the small island directly south of the station as a midway hop. From there you'd just follow the A87 up to Portree, or possibly Uig.
     
    Last edited: 29 Jan 2015
  29. PaulLothian

    PaulLothian Member

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    Possibly something to do wih those 10,000 people being well spread across the fourth largest island in the British Isles? Although to be fair, a railway to Uig would make a useful railhead for the approximately 20,000 people of Lewis and Harris. Still, if the Victorian engineers and promoters couldn't make a business case, little hope of it happening now.

    There is also the issue of maintaining the sea lane out of Loch Alsh (hence the elevation of the road bridge).
     
  30. NotATrainspott

    NotATrainspott Established Member

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    Network Rail have Paisley Canal reopening to Elderslie as a long-term idea in one of their documents (the one that discusses the 2043 demands on each route in Scotland). If Kilmacolm were to reopen, it would almost certainly be as an extension of the Paisley Canal services, as they were before the two routes closed together in the 1980s.

    Fastlink is a tragedy. It pretty much exemplifies the problems with bus rapid transit in the UK - local councils see it as a cheap way to get better public transport but for it to work, they need the same sort of funding capability that could then be used to fund a proper tram line. When that special funding doesn't appear, the resulting bits of BRT that result are pathetic, with cost rises 'solved' by de-scoping the scheme more and more until the money that is actually spent was completely wasted. Once you add in the inability to run a proper service on the route, due to the lack of bus regulation, the scheme has been an unmitigated failure that should never have been allowed to move off the drawing board.

    The project to extend the Edinburgh Trams to Leith should reverse much of the remaining public distrust in tram schemes. If you can show that a proper network, serving areas that need served, can actually function without needing massive public subsidy it isn't going to harm the idea of investing in a similar scheme in Glasgow.

    The Maryhill and Cathcart Circle lines would be ideal for tram-train conversion, using high floor tram trains of the same standard that will be procured for Metrolink and the Tyne & Wear Metro. Glasgow City Centre is relatively narrow in a north-south direction, so the street-running section wouldn't need to be very long, and as both ends are already commuter routes there would be a flow of passengers immediately.
     
  31. ADRboy

    ADRboy Member

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    No buses, no timescale for launch & no requirement for any sort of baseline service per hour?

    It's been a catastrophe of a project from start to finish. SPT should be answering serious questions about its mismanagement.
     

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