Aberdeen to the Central Belt

Faster journeys, greater connectivity

Trains have no speed advantage over typical car journey times between Aberdeen / Dundee and Glasgow / Edinburgh – nevertheless the Scottish Government’s planned programme of rail investment between Aberdeen and the Central Belt is not scheduled for completion until 2030.

Trains south from Scotland’s third city still have to negotiate single-track sections from Montrose to Usan and east of Perth station. For trains from both Edinburgh and Glasgow, the final approach to Perth station has long been a slow crawl. And the potential to shift more freight traffic off the A90 is limited by the short length of railway overtaking loops between the Central Belt and Aberdeen. In the short-to-medium term, we should:

  • Eliminate the single-track bottleneck between Montrose and Usan
  • Extend loops for longer (and more cost-effective) freight trains
  • Upgrade the existing route immediately south and east of Perth for higher speeds and greater capacity
  • Introduce fast tilting diesel trains.

In the longer term the routes from Aberdeen to the Central Belt must be electrified and the opportunity taken to route Aberdeen-Edinburgh trains via the new direct Perth-Edinburgh link, providing improved connectivity through the new Inter City hub at Perth station.