Yestermonths in Parliament
Plausibly good answers to Parliamentary Questions, except that we don't know how much or how little will be in each phase of either the Initial Industry Plan (IIP, and not to be confused with the Infrastructure Investment Plan) or the High Level Output Specification (HLOS).
Question S4W-08635: Margaret McCulloch (Central Scotland, Scottish Labour), date lodged: 10/07/2012 - To ask the Scottish Government which capital projects proposed in the Initial Industry Plan Scotland: Proposals for Control Period 5 and beyond it will support.
Written answer by Keith Brown, 20 July 2012: The High Level Output Specification published on 21 June 2012 sets out the Government's ambitious investment priorities for the five-year (2014 to 2019) Control Period. The £5 billion programme of investment in infrastructure includes:
Completion of the Borders Railway;
Phase 1 of the Aberdeen to Inverness Rail Improvements Project;
Phase 2 of the Highland Main Line Improvements Project.
All of these projects are detailed in our Infrastructure Investment Plan, and the Industry's Investment Plan.
We will require the rail industry to work together to deliver future phases of the Aberdeen to Inverness Improvements Project and the Highland Main Line Improvements Project, and the rolling programme of electrification, which will cover around 100 single track kilometres per annum to meet future capacity requirements.
Question S4W-08634: Margaret McCulloch (Central Scotland, Scottish Labour), date lodged: 10/07/2012 - To ask the Scottish Government what recent discussions the Minister for Housing and Transport has had with Network Rail regarding the Initial Industry Plan Scotland: Proposals for Control Period 5 and beyond.
Answer by Keith Brown (20/07/2012): The Scottish Government has regular meetings with Network Rail to discuss a range of issues in relation to forward planning, including the development of the industry's Initial Investment Plan and our High Level Output Specification for Control Period 5.
Question S4W-08323: David Stewart (Highlands and Islands, Scottish Labour), date lodged 27/06/2012 - To ask the Scottish Executive whether Network Rail's proposals for improvements on the Inverness to Aberdeen line will be published on the Transport Scotland website and, if so, when.
Answer by Keith Brown (06/07/2012): Yes. Network Rail is currently finalising its appraisal of the options proposed in its Pre-feasibility Study published in 2011.
The appraisal examines in more detail the feasibility, cost and deliverability of the options, such as journey time improvements, service enhancements and potential re-opening at Dalcross and Kintore. This work is expected to be completed and published later this summer.
Question S4W-08322: David Stewart (Highlands and Islands, Scottish Labour), date lodged 27/06/2012 - To ask the Scottish Executive whether there has been a delay in implementing the Inverness to Aberdeen rail capacity and service improvements scheme and, if so, for what reason.
Answer by Keith Brown (06/07/2012): No. The project will be completed in phases between 2015 and 2030 as specified in the government's Infrastructure Investment Plan, published in December 2011.
It is anticipated that phase 1 of the project will deliver enhanced commuter services into both cities and Network Rail will work with promoters to deliver Kintore and Dalcross railway stations. Detailed development work is currently underway to determine the track and signalling improvements required to deliver the extra services and stations.And a question about rail freight:
Question S4W-08324: David Stewart (Highlands and Islands, Scottish Labour), date lodged 27/06/2012 - To ask the Scottish Executive what capacity the single track rail lines from Perth and Aberdeen to Inverness have to cope with an increase in freight.
Answer by Keith Brown (25/07/2012): Available capacity on the Scottish rail network is not allocated specifically to freight or passenger services. Limited capacity exists on the rail lines from Perth and Aberdeen to Inverness and both freight and passenger operators can make a bid to Network Rail for access.
Perth to Inverness: Work is currently underway to examine the potential for infrastructure enhancements, including passing loops to offer improved capacity for increasing both passenger and freight services. Phase two of the scheme is also included in our High Level Output Specification which was published on 21 June 2012.
Aberdeen to Inverness: Network Rail is finalising its appraisal for delivery of journey time improvements, service enhancements and potential new stations on the Aberdeen to Inverness line. The appraisal, expected later this summer, will contain a detailed assessment of the improvements required to deliver extra freight and passenger services.