Also in March 2023, CNER attended the North East roundtable meeting with Scotrail. Please see the attached document to read a document that we passed along to Scotrail and Network Rail that detailed our thoughts on the service and network in the North East. Discussion was positive by all that attended, and very promising for us as a campaign.
The session was hosted by Scotrail and Network Rail, and was attended by CNER, NESTRANS, ACC councillors, MSPs and other rail stakeholders.
Points of note that we're discussed: - Leisure Travel Revenue has fully recovered since the pandemic, but Commuter and Peak Time travel remains at 60% of 2019 levels, recovery is expected by March 2024. - Aberdeen to Glasgow will be the priority for electrification after work in Fife is complete, expected by 2027, but absolutely must be completed by 2030. Electrification will be continuous to WCML. - Rolling stock after diesels will have separate spaces for bikes, wheelchairs and buggies, and will have level boarding capability. - Journey Time improvements between Aberdeen and the Central Belt will be completed by 2026. - Rail Freight gauge improvements are a distinct phase of the electrification programme. Schoolhill and Hutcheon Street Tunnels, and Waterloo Branch in Aberdeen are on the agenda, but no plans set as yet. Goal is to allow for traversal of shipping containers, but not necessarily W12. - Capacity through Aberdeen Station is also a concern, Platform 8 will be considered during these works, but no decision or plans are in place as yet. - The appraisal process has changed as a result of the SNP/Green Deal. Now, patronage is second to climate and social targets, Network Rail made is clear that "it's an entirely different world.". This seems like a key point for the Buchan Feasibility Study.