Tuesday, 27 April 2010


HIGH SPEED RAIL IS THE LONDON PARTIES’ HIGH SPEED FAIL Glasgow candidates will today (Tuesday) join together to launch a petition calling for the high speed rail network to include Glasgow. Despite Labour promises to build high speed rail as far as Scotland, current plans only take it to Birmingham. Commenting, SNP candidate for Glasgow East, John Mason, said: “High speed rail to Scotland would revolutionise travel in the UK by offering the best solution to transport problems not only in Scotland but in the UK as a whole. “The ability to travel between Scotland and London in as little as three hours is vital and wholly necessary. Scottish businesses are
being put at a disadvantage by the London parties’ refusal to extend the
link. “Only the SNP will champion Scotland’s right to a direct, speedy rail link to bring significant economic advantages for communities and companies across the country, because with a high speed rail link comes significant business links.” SNP candidate for Glasgow Central, Osama Saeed, added: “High speed rail is the London parties’ high speed fail. Fast rail has become the norm across Europe but here in Scotland we are still stuck on the slow track with little prospect of the situation improving. “While the London parties wax lyrical about reducing emissions they refuse to put in place a fast rail link to Scotland which would dramatically cut the number of short haul flights. “While it should only take three hours to go from London to Scotland, with Labour, Tory and Lib Dem it’s going to take 30 years.”

1 comment:

TransTraxman said...

This extract is from our blog Trans-Trax
We thought it might interest you.

And on to Scotland: It never was our intention to consider the high speed line extensions to Glasgow and Edinburgh last. However, since the importance, in detail, is much less in the White Paper than the connections to the North West and Yorkshire, then that is the way the blog has turned out. It does not mean our opinion about the importance of the connections to Glasgow and Edinburgh is diminished, quite the contrary.

Part of the reasons given for a high speed line to Scotland is to reduce the road and air traffic, and thus noise and pollution, while obtaining a reduction in the use of already overcrowded trunk roads/ motorways, thus reducing the need to construct new ones.Therefore, cannot we construct (or upgrade at the very least) where it is easiest?

There is a tendancy to look at all problems to be solved as starting from London. This means we always look at the problems from south to north, from bottom to top. That is not wrong but we can get a better perspective if we turn the map round with Glasgow and Edinburgh at the bottom while London is at the top. If we go upwards from Glasgow we see that there is no city of note before Carlisle. If we go upwards from Edinburgh then the same is true until Newcastle.

We consider, then that a new line could be constructed across the Lowlands more directly to Newcastle. This would follow the corridor of the A68 road to Galashiels, continue to Kelso, round the northern part of the Northumberland National Park to Wooler, then down through Morpeth and Newcastle airport and into Newcastle itself. This would complement the present ECML line from Edinb-Dunbar-Berwick-Newc. The Edinb-Newc. line could have stops(for regional traffic) at the places mentioned thus providing passing points for the fast traffic over the slow.

The line from Glasgow would follow the present WCML route through Motherwell - Moffat - Lockerbie - Gretna - Carlisle. By building a double straight rail line in the same corridor as the present WCML there would be sufficient capacity for both freight and passenger traffic (both long distance and regional). However, this might prove too much to ask initially. An upgrade of the present WCML line to ensure the maximum width and height gauges would probably be more realistic in the mid-term. New sections of line would only be constructed to supplement the worst "bendy bits" so they could then be used as passing points for fast traffic over slow traffic.

The net result of these constructions would increase line speeds, increase the frequency and quality of the services provided(both long distance and regional), absorb the projected increase in traffic on the north south routes, very probably increase market share of all the north south traffic(road, rail and air), reduce atmospheric pollution, probably reduce traffic congestion and thus reduce the need for new roads, and draw the two countries closer together.

The present 75min. journey from Glasgow to Carlisle could be reduced by up to 20mins. while the 90 min. journey from Edinburgh to Newcastle could be reduced by up to 40 mins.. This would then make the journey times from the two Scottish cities to the two English ones about 50-55 mins. - a substantial saving - at not such an exaggerated cost.

From there the next stages could be tackled. The WCML needs work done from Carlisle to Lancaster...

...The major problems on the ECML is from Newcastle to Darlington where a new straight line needs to be built to complement the existing main line thus making it a four-tracked corridor. From Darlington to York, Doncaster and Kings Cross the line is straight and so should be four-tracked all its length. The difficulty is at Welwyn where the line is a bottleneck and must be four-tracked (even for local and regional traffic).