27. We will deliver the strategic transport projects in the Infrastructure Investment Plan and work with the freight sector to identify priority developments for inclusion in NPF4

Implementation Lead(s): Scottish Government

Locations: All Scotland

Further reading:
Scottish Government Infrastructure Investment Plan
Transport Scotland – Rail Freight
Transport Scotland – High Level Output Specification (HLOS), includes information on the Scottish Strategic Rail Freight Implementation Fund at paragraph 3.23

Environmental Mitigation: None identified.

Ongoing Activity and Milestones:
2014-15 – Consider with Rail Freight Group those developments which are of strategic importance to the logistics network.  Presentation on NPF3 and actions given at 28 October 2014 ScotFLAG meeting. Sub-group to be formed to undertake work on delivering the action.

2014 – April – Strategic Freight Investment Fund operational.  This will be used for strategic rail freight schemes that Network Rail and the Rail Freight Industry are currently developing, including the Aberdeen Waterloo branch and electrification to Port of Grangemouth.

2015 – Carmuirs Aqueduct Enhancement Scheme completed.  Delivered by Network Rail the scheme was supported by a £2.5 million contribution from the Scottish Strategic Rail Freight Investment Fund.’ The project forms part of the wider Edinburgh Glasgow Improvement Programme and provides line speed enhancements and gauge improvements for freight services travelling to Grangemouth.

2015 – Creation of ScotFLAG Planning Sub-Group to provide independent, evidence based recommendations on priority schemes.  Membership of the group comprised representatives of all freight transport modes and other key stakeholders.

February 2015 – At the initial meeting, a list of projects was agreed as the basis of discussion representing all known or less well known projects, suitable for consideration by members of the sub-group.  Following the prioritisation discussion, three groupings of projects emerged:

  1. Strategic but not necessarily site specific projects/aspirations.
  2. Specific projects which were identified as ‘vital’ or ‘important’ to a greater or lesser degree.
  3. Specific projects which did not receive support and were thought to not be important priorities.

April 2015 – Examination of prioritised projects led to agreement that those identified as vital to be taken forward for further consideration.

July 2015 – Further consideration given to priority projects identified 7 most important.

2015 – September – Rail freight strategy consultation anticipated.

Next Steps:

2016 – Independent economic analysis to be carried out to identify magnitude of importance.

2019 – Phase 1 of the Aberdeen to Inverness Rail Improvements Project and Phase 2 of the Highland Mainline Rail Improvements Project expected to be delivered.

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