Rail Services (Renfrewshire South)

– in the Scottish Parliament on 18th February 2021.

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Photo of Tom Arthur Tom Arthur Scottish National Party

5. To ask the Scottish Government how it is supporting rail services in the Renfrewshire South constituency. (S5O-05021)

Photo of Michael Matheson Michael Matheson Scottish National Party

The Scottish Government has provided unprecedented financial support to maintain essential rail services throughout the pandemic. To secure a strong and green future, we are investing in rail electrification on the route between Glasgow and Barrhead, which will accommodate quieter and more environmentally friendly electric trains, increase the capacity of services and improve the resilience of the network.

Accessibility works at Johnstone station are due to commence later this year. Plans for electrification of the route between Busby junction and Barrhead are being developed. Network Rail’s initial estimate is that that will cost between £25 million and £35 million, but we continue to engage with Network Rail to find efficiencies in the programme.

Photo of Tom Arthur Tom Arthur Scottish National Party

I express my gratitude to those who work on our railways in Renfrewshire South and across Scotland.

In his answer to an earlier question, the cabinet secretary touched on the multifaceted benefits of Scotland decarbonising its railways. Will he expand on those benefits, particularly those relating to the project to electrify the line from Barrhead to Glasgow?

Photo of Michael Matheson Michael Matheson Scottish National Party

A number of significant benefits are gained from the electrification of our rail network. It provides quieter and faster trains, in terms of traction type, and it allows us to increase capacity on important lines, including the one from Tom Arthur’s constituency into the central belt. Electrification can play an important part in improving our overall delivery of rail services.

Alongside that, it will support us in decarbonising our rail network, because electric trains are more environmentally friendly.

Electrification will provide significant benefits for Tom Arthur’s constituents, including increased capacity and faster and quieter trains. It will deliver a better overall service for passengers.