MSP Greer’s report advocates Westerton-Milngavie line redoubling
Redoubling of the WestertonMilngavie branch in Glasgow would improve performance on the route and provide a degree of timetable flexibility in Glasgow suburban services, according to a new report.
The route was partially singled in 1990 as part of the Yoker resignalling scheme, but since then service frequency on the branch has doubled to one train every 15 minutes. The report says the route is operating at full capacity, leaving little scope for recovery from late running.
The independent report, commissioned by West Scotland MSP Ross Greer (Green Party) and produced by Allan Rail Solutions, says doubling the single lead junction at Westerton and two single-track sections on the route would help to alleviate reactionary delays on what the author claims is the worst-performing ScotRail route, with just 28.3% of trains achieving right-time arrivals at Milngavie, and 79.2% within five minutes.
He argues that while redoubling Westerton Junction and the single line from there to Bearsden would improve performance initially, redoubling from Hillfoot to Milngavie would maximise the effectiveness of increasing capacity at Westerton Junction. It would also allow for the proposed new station at Allander, which the report suggests cannot be opened without the timetable flexibility afforded by redoubling the whole branch.
Laying an additional track could be relatively straightforward, with much of the existing single track in its original location on one side of the formation, rather than in the centre.
The study also suggests that no additional land would be required, although two overbridges could need parapets raising to meet modern clearance standards and an underbridge between Hillfoot and Milngavie would need to be replaced as part of the deck has been removed.
“There is nothing that appears to be insurmountable, and the costs should come in below the average,” the author suggests.
The report concludes that redoubling could be brought forward by ScotRail and Network Rail in their own right, “rather than relying on outside pressure and funding”, but that a joint approach with other stakeholders “is likely to result in a more satisfactory outcome”.