Thursday, 10 September 2009

Grangemouth by Rail: A Future Hope

Seeing the work going on at the new Bathgate and Armadale stations and the rest of the work going on to restore the Bathgate to Airdrie rail link is a wonderful sight. The news that a campaign is afoot to connect people in Grangemouth back to the rail network is additional welcome news.

Rail lines still exist from Falkirk to Grangemouth to carry freight so less replacing of infrastructure may be required that the Bathgate to Airdrie scheme. Alex Macaulay, the director of SEStran has said that the issue of reinstating a station at Grangemouth would be considered as part of Scottish Transport Appraisal Guidance (Stag) to assess the future transport needs of the area. The 17,000+ residents of Grangemouth may soon be looking forward to a more rail connection to the rest of the network rather than busing or driving into Falkirk to get on a train.

1 comment:

  1. Need to get in on this at the start.

    STAG transport appraisal takes a very long time, requires clear demonstration of economic benefits and includes a "do nothing" option through an iterative option-testing process. It's also very technical although stakeholder consultation is a feature. Most new stations are "halts" on established rail lines between established destinations unless they are in areas of strategic economic growth. Grangemouth is at the end of the line, so to speak. Having said that, there is now a rail line to Alloa passing through Stirling, so this may not be so far-fetched.

    The real value may be in improved freight linkages to the Port of Grangemouth, which could also be used by passenger trains if the track is upgraded at the same time. This could increase port capacity, remove vehicular traffic and reduce CO2 emissions.

    I would also recommend considering a rail crossing across the Forth to link up at Kincardine to both directions. This might be cost-effective for freight in particular.

    Levenmouth in Fife is in a similar position - freight line that needs upgraded.