MSP Greer’s re­port ad­vo­cates Wester­ton-Mil­ngavie line re­dou­bling

Rail (UK) - - News -

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”.

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