Date lodged: 13 May 2019
To ask the Scottish Government whether it will provide a progress update on the enhancements to the East Kilbride rail corridor.
Answered by: Michael Matheson 14 May 2019
There is continuing growth on the East Kilbride line and some peak journeys on this route regularly appear in the list of top ten overcrowded ScotRail services.
We are making investments now to help with this. Successful electrification of Edinburgh to Glasgow routes now allows the redeployment of diesel trains so ScotRail will provide more than 1,000 extra weekday seats for East Kilbride services from 20 May 2019. However, existing limitations in track layout, capacity and access to stations means there are limits to the length and frequency of trains which can run on this route, and we know that more needs to be done to help make rail travel an attractive choice.
That is why we have now agreed to provide up to £24.8 million to Network Rail to progress the major development work required. This will help determine the right long-term solution and will focus on providing enhanced connectivity (more frequent services), improved accessibility to stations, better transport integration, with improved park and ride facilities and active travel provisions. Our aim, whilst delivering this, is to move towards a carbon free journey from home to destination for communities along the route, by considering electrification.
We anticipate that the development work will take approximately 18 months, with recommendations to the Scottish Government on a package of major infrastructure investment to follow.