Prioritisation of rail projects

Getting it right for rail

We continue to make record investment in maintaining and improving our rail network. To sustain and enhance Scotland’s Railway, a suite of projects is either under active consideration, in development or in delivery across the country, within this current rail funding period (Control Period 6: 2019-2024) and beyond. All projects are subject to the Scottish Government appraisal process outline in the Rail Enhancements and Capital Investment Strategy. 

The aims of our projects align with wider planning and transport priorities including:

  • providing enhanced and more sustainable passenger and freight services through delivery of our decarbonisation plans
  • improving the reliability and connectivity of services
  • improving accessibility to rail services for all

The next key projects across Scotland that we will take forward in the coming years are detailed below. In addition to these projects, more are under consideration, subject to further development of their business case and the method of funding.

In delivery

  • Aberdeen Station Improvements
  • Cadder Yard
  • Carstairs strategic renewals
  • *East Kilbride Improvements (including Electrification)
  • *Levenmouth Branch Reopening, and Electrification for Battery Electric Multiple Unit (BEMU) operation
  • *Motherwell Station Improvements

In development

Decarbonisation of rail services

  • *25kV Feeder Stations to support the Rolling Programme of Electrification and Decarbonised Rolling Stock Deployment
  • *Borders - Partial Electrification to enable Battery Electric Multiple Unit (BEMU) replacement of diesel rolling stock
  • *Electrification of Barrhead Corridor
  • *Haymarket to Dalmeny Electrification to support Battery Electric Multiple Unit (BEMU) services to Leven
  • *Infrastructure clearance to run larger freight containers and electrified rolling stock

Improving existing or creating new access to rail services

  • Dalcross – New Station
  • East Linton - New Station
  • *Inverness Station Masterplan
  • *Perth Station Enhancement
  • Reston - New Station
  • Station Accessibility Projects at Aviemore, Nairn, Pitlochry, Kingussie and Carstairs
  • Stirling Station Improvement
  • *Waverley Masterplan
  • West of Fife Enhancements (Alloa to Longannet - Electrification and New Stations)
  • Winchburgh - New Station

Improving resilience and connectivity

  • Aberdeen to Central Belt Improvements
  • Inverness Caledonian Sleeper Accommodation Works
  • Fort William train cleaning facility
  • Forth Bridge Walk Experience
  • Portobello Junction to Newcraighall Improvements
  • Signalling enhancements (south of Perth towards Dunblane) for faster journey times
  • Track realignment (north of Perth towards Dundee) for higher linespeeds and performance benefits
  • Delny Level Crossing Closure

*Projects detailed in STPR2 Phase 1

Under active consideration

Future phases of Decarbonisation Action Plan

  • Aberdeen to Central Belt Electrification
  • Aberdeen to Inverness Electrification
  • Aberdeen to Inverness Improvements (Phase 2)
  • Dunblane-Hilton route clearance for future electrification
  • Electrification - Ayrshire and Glasgow & South West
  • Electrification - Dunfermline Queen Margaret to Longannet
  • Electrification - Fife Circle
  • Electrification - Fife to Perth and Dundee
  • Highland Mainline Electrification

Improving existing or creating new access to rail services

  • Ayr Station Replacement/Renewal
  • Improvements at stations - Glasgow High Street, Anderston Station, Glasgow Central Low Level, Exhibition Centre

Improving resilience and connectivity

  • Improving the Value of the Far North Railway - various capacity and journey time improvements
  • Kyle Lines Enhancement – potential signalling resilience
  • West Highland Corridor Enhancement – potential signalling resilience

The key investments are part of our journey towards net zero. Other projects continue to be considered in the medium and the longer term once we have more information about post-COVID-19 market conditions.

For example, enhancement to the East Coast Main Line and the approaches to Edinburgh Waverley from the east and the west will continue to be considered as part of our strategic analysis for local, regional and cross-border connectivity (passenger and freight), decarbonisation and place-making for Edinburgh and its environs. 

For more information on individual projects please visit

Our investment to date

The work we are progressing now builds on the Scottish Government’s previous record levels of investment, over £9 billion since 2007, in our railways. This has delivered 16 new stations, new routes including the Airdrie-Bathgate and Borders lines, and electrified the majority of the network in the Central Belt of Scotland.

At the start of the most recent five year rail funding period (Control Period 6: 2019-2024), our priority was the completion of a suite of rail improvements, electrification and the introduction of associated services:

This rail funding period (2019-2024) also includes a 21% increase in our investment on the day to day running of Scotland’s rail network, in comparison to the previous funding period, which will deliver improved performance and resilience over time.

Building back greener

While the COVID-19 outbreak has created unprecedented pressures on the priorities of government, the vision proposed through the National Transport Strategy for a fairer and greener transport system, remains as relevant in guiding our actions through and out of this crisis, as it does for the protection of our climate and for our future sustainable economic growth.

Our commitment to ending Scotland’s contribution to climate change is unwavering and is central to our green recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic. Our economic recovery must be a green recovery, which is inclusive of the needs of communities across Scotland.

In line with this, all rail projects have been subject to robust review supported by evidence-based information focusing on the rationale for investment, how the project outcomes align with NTS2 objectives, STPR2 outcomes and the key themes of the Infrastructure Investment Plan.

Our plans also take into account the short-medium term impacts of the pandemic on travel patterns, as well as the need to reassess future forecasts for growth in freight and passenger capacity.