Campaign group outlines rail revamp plans for Buchan, Ellon and Inverurie

Outline of Railfuture's network proposal for the North East
Outline of Railfuture's network proposal for the North East

A national rail campaigning organisation have unveiled plans that would see rail services return to Peterhead, Fraserburgh Ellon and Inverurie.

Railfuture Scotland, which represents rail users in Scotland, have set out proposals which add links between Dyce and Ellon, Ellon and Peterhead, Ellon and Fraserburgh and between Inverurie and Old Meldrum.

The author of the network is Roderick McDougall, Vice-Chair of Railfuture Scotland and a chartered civil engineer and retired transport professional.

He believes his new proposals will result in a significant modal shift from road to rail, boosting the economy, increasing prosperity and protecting the environment.

The Vice-Chair also said that the Government has been shirking their responsibility in extending and improving the North East rail network.

Mr McDougall said: “Whereas it is Network Rail’s job to look after and maintain the existing network and Scotrail’s job to operate passenger trains on it in accordance with their franchise, there appears to be no-one charged with looking at extending and improving the network.

“This is a Government responsibility which they are shirking by passing it on to cash strapped Regional Transport Authorities and Local Councils without giving them either the authority or the financial ability to fulfil it.

“It is only pressure groups like ours that are trying to ‘kick start’ a renaissance in railway improvements.”

A Transport Scotland spokesman said: “We do not recognise or agree with these comments or views but would be delighted to consider any business cases that have been produced to support these ambitious proposals that are being put forward.

“Recent industry planning documents, including the Scotland Route Study published in the summer, demonstrate the success of our railways, with strong growth in demand for rail in Scotland predicted to continue, leading to an increasingly busy railway that will require investment in rolling stock and infrastructure to support faster and more frequent and reliable journeys.

Railfuture’s plans will be on show at the Aberdeen Model Railway Exhibition at the RGU Sports Centre.

Transport Scotland will set out their investment priorities beyond 2019 next summer.