Campaign launched to improve north-east rail network

The north-east suffered severe rail cuts decades ago, leaving only two main intercity lines.

Campaign launched to improve north-east rail network STV News
Campaign launched to improve rail networks in the north-east.

A campaign has been launched to improve rail networks in the north-east.

The group behind it says Aberdeenshire simply can’t afford to go another 20 years without modern rail connections.

The Campaign for North East Rail say they’re an independent group made up of local drivers and engineers.

The north-east suffered severe rail cuts decades ago, leaving only two main intercity lines.

The group say Aberdeen is the third largest city in Scotland yet has the least rail links of all seven.

Spokesman Jordan Jack, a train driver, said: “Aberdeen City and Shire is home to over 450,000 people, yet the only towns that have train stations are the ones that happen to be on the two intercity lines.

“This highlights how much of Aberdeenshire and the north east is underserved by rail.”

The campaign has been working on the issues for the past six months.

They want to secure a feasibility study into a fully integrated rail proposal between Peterhead, Fraserburgh and Banchory.

They say that would be transformational for public transport in the region.

The proposals include:

  • Reopening the Formartine and Buchan Railway to Peterhead and Fraserburgh with significant realignment north of Ellon to improve journey times;
  • Reopening the Deeside line as far as Banchory.;
  • Integrating this new railway with current ScotRail services to the Central Belt and London-bound services such as the LNER and Caledonian Sleeper services;
  • Introducing an integrated bus service that will meet every train, every time at Banchory, and run to Braemar following the A93, stopping at each town only once as if it were a train.  

The group is writing to election candidates in the region seeking their endorsement and their demands for the commissioning of a new feasibility study on the issues.