16 November 2018
Completion of Feasibility Study by Transport Scotland on behalf of the Working Group, with three potential route options identified: two on the west coast and one on the east coast.
On the east coast, the study confirmed that it was technically and environmentally feasible to construct an additional line between the outskirts of Edinburgh and Newcastle, which would release a large amount of capacity on the existing East Coast Main Line that could be used for additional passenger and freight services.
High speed trains running on the new line could also be capable of a sub 45 minute journey time between Edinburgh and Newcastle and a journey time of approximately 3 hours to London in combination with the new HS2 lines running between London, Manchester and Leeds.
On the west coast, the study confirmed that it was technically and environmentally feasible to construct an additional line between Rutherglen and either Abington or Carstairs, or which would release a large amount of capacity on the existing West Coast Main Line that could be used for additional passenger and freight services. High speed trains running on the new line could also be capable of a sub 1 hour journey time between Glasgow and Carlisle and a journey time of under 3 hours 30 minutes to London. The study also confirmed that a high speed train operation over both the west and east coast options could be capable of a sub 1 hour 45 minute journey time between Glasgow and Newcastle. The route option via Carstairs, illustrated by the pink line, has intermediate connections with the existing rail network.
The study considered the potential for new a new cross-border station on the high speed line within the Eurocentral business park and on the existing rail network near Livingston to provide improved business and leisure connectivity between Scotland and England.
The output of this and other Feasibility Studies will be used to inform a Strategic Business Case which will be presented to UK and Scottish governments’ Ministers in due course for consideration in the light of their joint commitment made in March 2016.
6 November 2017
Transport Scotland, on behalf of the Working Group, commissioned a Feasibility Study that focused on the east coast line between Edinburgh and Newcastle and on the west coast line between Glasgow and Abington.
21 March 2016
Publication of HS2 Ltd’s Broad options for upgraded and high speed railways to the North of England and Scotland report and Transport Scotland’s High Speed Rail Scotland Summary Report.
These two reports were launched at an event held in Edinburgh Waverley railway station. Keith Brown MSP, then Cabinet Secretary for Infrastructure, Investment and Cities, and Robert Goodwill MP, UK Minister for Transport with responsibility for High Speed Rail, jointly announced that:
“…in this control period (up to 2019) the Department for Transport and Transport Scotland will take forward work with Network Rail to identify any and all options with strong business cases, for consideration for implementation in Control Periods 6 and 7 (2019 to 2029), that can improve journey times, capacity, resilience and reliability on routes between England and Scotland. This will include consideration of how these improvements can be future-proofed to allow further progress towards 3 hour journeys.”
Keith Brown also announced that this work would be informed by a public conversation with targeted stakeholders, which would commence in June 2016.
The High Speed Rail Scotland Summary Report allowed the conclusion to be drawn that it is clear that any high speed rail built between Edinburgh and Glasgow would be conditional on the nature of high speed rail coming from the south and would, in order to form part of any high speed rail network, need to align with the technical requirements of that infrastructure.
14 December 2011
Publication of Fast Track Scotland.
12 November 2012
Nicola Sturgeon MSP, then Deputy First Minister and Cabinet Secretary for Investment, Infrastructure and Cities announced that Transport Scotland were assessing the case for bringing forward a high speed link between Edinburgh and Glasgow, in anticipation of a subsequent link to London. View the speech (PDF).
1 November 2013
Announcement of a joint study of high speed options north of Manchester and Leeds to Scotland.