Question S5W-04033: David Stewart, Highlands and Islands, Scottish Labour, answered: 31/10/16
To ask the Scottish Government what information it has on Network Rail's plans for safety improvements to the Delny open level crossing in Ross-shire, and what the timescale is for any plans.
Humza Yousaf: Network Rail plans to upgrade Delny Automatic Open Crossing to an Automatic Barrier Crossing in 2017. Network Rail advise that this will not address the increased risk that is likely to arise as a consequence of a potential nearby development, to which they continue to object, and that they are still pursuing eventual closure of the level crossing and its replacement by a bridge.
Question S5W-04016: Rhoda Grant, Highlands and Islands, Scottish Labour, answered: 02/11/16
To ask the Scottish Government how much will be invested by Network Rail in the Far North Line between 2014 and 2019, broken down by individual project and their related costs.
Humza Yousaf: As part of the Scottish Government`s wider £5 billion programme of transformative investment in Scotland`s railways over the five-year control period to March 2019, Network Rail are investing over £30 million to maintain, renew and enhance the rail infrastructure on the Far North Line. This includes over £7 million in track renewals, around £13 million on earthworks and associated remediation works, over £3 million on structures works supporting scour prevention and rectification and coastal improvements, and around £9 million to complete the roll out of next generation signalling system renewal. This investment is over and above that required through Network Rail to support the daily operation of rail services along the route.
Question S5W-04625: Gail Ross, Caithness, Sutherland and Ross, Scottish National Party, answered: 24/11/16
To ask the Scottish Government which services on the (a) Far North and (b) Kyle of Lochalsh Line will be considered as "golden trains" following the implementation of the ScotRail improvement plan, and when this status will come into force.
Humza Yousaf: ScotRail continually review and amended the services they stipulate internally as "Golden Trains". Performance patterns are altered as operational circumstances change and improvement plans take effect. The purpose of classifying these services at any given time is to minimise the knock on impact any lateness can present to timetabled services later in the day.
Question S5W-05298: Rhoda Grant, Highlands and Islands, Scottish Labour, answered: 08/12/16
To ask the Scottish Government what its position is on it reinstating the direct rail link between Perth and Edinburgh, and what impact such a service would have on journey times on the Highland Main Line.
Humza Yousaf: Reinstatement of the direct rail link between Perth and Edinburgh does not feature in the Scottish Government's current £5 billion investment programme to 2019. However, we are committed to on-going improvements to rail services and connectivity and will consider projects subject to the Scottish Government's investment priorities for the strategic transport network, a robust business case, affordability and other competing proposals. The first step for promoters of this scheme is to contact the Regional Transport Partnership (RTP), SEStran, to establish if the proposal fits with their local and regional transport strategies. Any impact on Highland Main Line journey times would need to be determined by detailed timetable analysis should the proposal emerge from a multi-modal transport appraisal.