Investing in Scotland's Railway

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Rail provides vital connections between our cities, our communities, our businesses, and showcases all that Scotland has to offer. Scotland’s Railway today is a dynamic collaboration of Government and rail industry partners working together to deliver the safe, timeous and high quality railway that Scotland expects and deserves. Our partners include:

  • ScotRail Alliance (ScotRail and Network Rail)
  • Serco Caledonian Sleeper Ltd
  • Office of Rail and Road
  • cross border rail operators
  • rail supply chain.

The railway is part of the fabric of our nation’s economy and well-being. It connects people and places - supporting over 13,000 jobs, around 9000 of those directly. It is a Living Wage employer and our rail franchises guarantee this.

How are we doing this?

By working together to promote positive leadership and behaviours across all levels we are enabling dynamic, evidence-based decisions to be made at the right level and at the right time. We are actively embracing new techniques and new thinking – all with the aim of delivering rail enhancements which bring tangible benefits to Scotland’s passengers and freight.

We have invested an unprecedented £8bn in this key part of the economy across Scotland, since 2007 and we are committed to a strong, sustainable railway that meets future demand.

Find out more about how we are:

Programme for Government

In its Programme for Government, Ministers committed to decarbonising the nation’s railway by 2035. This means a focus on electrification and new technologies, such as battery and hydrogen powered trains.

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Read more about how our investment in Scotland’s Railway is contributing to the environment.

Proposed projects

To sustain and enhance Scotland’s Railway, a suite of proposed projects under consideration across the length and breadth of the country throughout the current rail funding period (Control Period 6: 2019-2024). These include:

  • relieving overcrowding in a dense commuter area through the proposed East Kilbride and Barrhead project
  • improving the reliability of services to the Scottish Borders and beyond
  • more services and faster journeys between our major cities, including Perth, Aberdeen and Inverness
  • improving services to our rural communities on the West Highland and Far North Line
  • tackling environmental issues through electrification and exploring new technologies such as battery and hydrogen trains.
  • There will also be a 21% increase in the expenditure on the day to day running of Scotland’s rail network, which will deliver improved performance and resilience over time.

This current funding period will also bring change in funding mechanisms, a change in approach and change in project management.

Current projects

The priority will be the completion of the current suite of rail improvements, electrification and the introduction of associated services:

Scotland saw the highest passenger growth in the UK with 102 million journeys made in 2017/2018.

Read the guide to Scotland’s Railway (Control Period 6: 2019 - 2024)