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Scottish Strategic Rail Study - Final Report

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SCOTTISH STRATEGIC RAIL STUDY

Facilitating Project

7.9 A single facilitating project in the Tay Area - the Dundee Crossrail service (Perth-Dundee-Arbroath) has been tested as part of the HRS. This involves a substantial upgrade of the line between Perth and Arbroath to provide half-hourly local rail services, as a core part of integrated transport along corridor. This would be additional to existing InterCity and ScotRail Express services. The project would also include new stations at Glencarse/St Madoes and Errol (subject to development), enhancements to track and signalling where necessary and up to 6 new high performance local DMU trains.

Other Projects

7.10 A number of other schemes complement the Crossrail project. A Perth to Markinch (and on to Edinburgh) local service will provide hourly service between Edinburgh and Perth, stopping at all stations between Markinch and Perth. This is additional to the existing 2 hourly Perth - Edinburgh (- Inverness) service and has been tested as an extension of the existing Edinburgh - Markinch local service. New stations at Bridge of Earn/Oudenard and Newburgh have also been tested.

7.11 Enhancements to track and signalling, where necessary, will include doubling of the track between Hilton Junction and Bridge of Earn and dynamic loops at Abernethy and Newburgh.

7.12 Further new stations at Dundee West (to serve Ninewells Hospital, Technology Park, Dundee Western Development Area and Dundee airport) on the Crossrail service and at Wormit/Tay Bridge (a reopened station) are included within the HRS. Improvements to existing stations, including modal interchange enhancements, improved information and security provision and major upgrade to Dundee and Perth stations also feature.

7.13 The final component of the HRS is the reopening of the St Andrews branch to provide a half hourly service to Dundee - integrated with the Perth - Dundee - Arbroath Crossrail service. This would require the provision of a new single-track branch, a new junction at Leuchars and necessary signalling works.

Performance of the HRS

7.14 The indicative capital cost of implementing all of the Tay Area HRS schemes outlined in Table 7.2 is 70m of which around 41% is accounted for by the St Andrews branch line reopening ( WP622 for detail). The HRS would have a large impact on rail patronage impact in the Tay area (Table 7.3), increasing the number of journeys in the Tay Area by 158,000 in 2010 (+37%) compared to the do-minimum. Passenger miles would be increased by 31%.

Table 7.3 TAY journeys and passenger miles for HRS vs (Capacity constrained) Do Minimum 2010 (000s)

Passenger Miles pa

Journeys pa

Do Minimum

8,792

422

High Resource

11,505

580

Uplift

2,713

158

% Uplift

31%

37%

7.15 The main contributors to benefits in the high resource scenario are the Crossrail Perth to Arbroath service (the key facilitating project) and the new stations at Newburgh and Bridge of Earn/Oudenard (with the Edinburgh to Markinch service extended to Perth). The proposed new branch line and service to St Andrew's provides a poor return with revenues covering only a small fraction of the operating costs. The Crossrail service performs well against the planning objectives, as do new stations, although it should be noted that revenue does not cover operating costs for any of the schemes in the high resource scenario.

7.16 Further consideration of the Perth to Arbroath Crossrail service indicates that:

  • The core of the benefit of the scheme is derived from stations between Arbroath and Dundee;
  • The proposed Dundee West station provides an important link to and integration with existing employment centres and proposed housing development areas;
  • The new stations in the Carse of Gowrie (St Madoes and Errol) do not contribute a net benefit to the Crossrail scheme due to the lack of populace in the area. It is considered that the opening of stations at these locations is dependent upon development proposals for these areas;
  • Perth to Dundee is well served by the hourly express service from/to Glasgow and the hourly Glasgow-Aberdeen service giving an overall thirty-minute service; hence the demand for an additional local service between Perth and Dundee is low.

Medium Resource Scenario

7.17 From the above it is clear that an 'optimisation' of the Crossrail service which seeks to improve its economic performance whilst retaining the features that contribute well to the planning objectives for the area is appropriate for the MRS. Furthermore an additional service across the Tay Estuary was considered. A local service from Dundee to Ladybank would use existing track and would provide an additional service to Leuchars, Cupar, Springfield and Ladybank as well as allowing Wormit station to re-open. This option would build on existing demand and should be considered for the medium resource scenario, particularly in the absence of the proposed St Andrews service that would have served Leuchars.

7.18 The medium resource scenario for the Tay area (WP7) therefore includes;

  • A revised Crossrail service of Arbroath to Dundee West with a half hourly local service;
  • A Dundee to Ladybank hourly service;
  • New stations at Newburgh and Bridge of Earn served by an extension of the Edinburgh to Markinch service to Perth (hourly);
  • Station improvements (infrastructure, interchange facilities and amenities).

Performance of the MRS

7.19 The indicative capital cost of implementing all of the Tay Area MRS schemes is 12m compared to 70m for the HRS ( WP7 for detail). The MRS would have an almost identical impact on rail demand as the HRS, increasing the number of journeys in the Tay Area by 157,000 in 2010 (+37%) compared to the do-minimum (Table 7.4). Journey lengths for new trips would be shorter in the MRS -hence the increase in passenger miles is smaller (at 20%) than in the HRS (30%).

Table 7.4 TAY journeys and passenger miles for MRS vs (Capacity constrained) Do Minimum 2010 (000s)

Passenger Miles pa

Journeys pa

Do Minimum

8,792

422

Medium Resource

10,541

579

Uplift

1,748

157

% Uplift

20%

37%

7.20 The MRS for the Tay Area therefore achieves most of the benefits of the HRS proposals at much lower cost. WP7 shows that the Crossrail service does not have positive NPV. However, the implementation of this local service (and the Crossrail project in Aberdeen - discussed in Chapter 8) would mean that express services between Aberdeen and Edinburgh and Glasgow do not have to stop as often.

7.21 Analysis of this proposition (discussed in more detail in WP7 and in Chapter 9 of this report) suggests that, in combination, the Crossrail services could enable the Inter Regional services to generate a significant amount of benefit. The benefit of the local services should therefore not be considered in isolation but should be considered as a package that includes:

  • Dundee local services;
  • Aberdeen Crossrail;
  • Inverness to Aberdeen service;
  • Edinburgh and Glasgow to Aberdeen services;
  • Edinburgh and Glasgow to Dundee express services.

7.22 Of the other components of the MRS the additional Dundee to Ladybank service would have a negative NPV and performs slightly less well than the Crossrail service whilst the Perth-Markinch service would have a better BCR but a poorer NPV due to its higher capital cost. Both perform well against local planning objectives however.

Low Resource Scenario

7.23 The low resource scenario (LRS) concentrates primarily on what can be done within the constraints of current track capacity. There are no opportunities for train lengthening or the introduction of new Sunday services 23 within the Tay Area as services are currently provided by Inter Regional trains and already operate on Sunday's. However, a Crossrail scheme similar to that in the MRS but with an upgraded Invergowrie station rather than the new Dundee West station would require minimal capacity enhancement and is therefore appropriate for reconsideration under the LRS.

7.24 The Dundee Crossrail scheme, on the basis of the analysis undertaken, performs better than services from Dundee to the south side of the Tay Estuary. The development of new stations between Ladybank and Perth requires significant capacity enhancements along the route and therefore has been excluded from the LRS by definition.

7.25 The principal components of the LRS in the Tay Area are therefore;

  • Two trains per hour Arbroath to Invergowrie;
  • Station improvements at Invergowrie;
  • Improved quality and security of stations;
  • Improved information provision;
  • Improved interchange with other modes.

7.26 The indicative capital cost of implementing the LRS for the Tay Area is 5m. The LRS would achieve a 24% increase in journeys over the 2010 do-minimum (compared to 37% with the MRS. Passenger miles would increase by 17%.

Table 7.5 TAY journeys and passenger miles for LRS vs (Capacity constrained) Do Minimum 2010 (000s)

Passenger Miles pa

Journeys pa

Do Minimum

8,792

422

Low resource

10,314

524

Uplift

1,522

102

% Uplift

17%

24%

Appraisal against Planning Objectives

7.27 The three scenarios have enabled us to test the combined effect of various schemes within three broad bands of investment level. The process has allowed us to consider how the best performing schemes might be packaged together.

7.28 These packages are presented in Table 7.6 24 along with those schemes that are independent of the Crossrail facilitating project, and assessed in terms of their contribution towards the planning objectives for the Tay Area and in terms of their economic performance. Table 7.6 also shows how these schemes could be packaged with NESTRANS, Inter Regional and SESTRAN projects.

7.29 The first cross-area package combines the Arbroath to Dundee West and Dundee Ladybank projects with an Aberdeen Crossrail service and with inter-regional services between Aberdeen and Edinburgh and Glasgow services that can be speeded up by removing their local stops now provided for by the Crossrail services. Table 7.6 shows that it contributes well to a number of the key planning objectives of the Tay Area and appears to offer a reasonable economic case, the benefits to the Inter Regional services improving the case compared to viewing the Crossrail scheme in isolation.

7.30 The second cross-area package is centred on the Perth to Markinch -Edinburgh local service and combines it with the full scale Waverley package (11 extra peak trains paths per hour) which includes an enhanced Edinburgh-Perth express service, Fife Circle service enhancements as well as other elements of the Waverley package between Edinburgh & Glasgow. This combined package makes a useful contribution towards planning objectives, although it contributes rather less to key objectives such as improving access to growth areas in the Dundee-Perth corridor. It is also more marginal in terms of value for money.

7.31 The results of the three Dundee Crossrail options (Arbroath to Perth, Arbroath to Dundee West and Arbroath to Invergowrie) show that Arbroath to Perth option provides the largest contribution towards the planning objectives. All three schemes perform poorly in economic terms although the Dundee West to Arbroath is the best performing (not apparent in Table 7.6 because of the banding used to rank the BCR's).

7.32 Finally, the appraisal of the non-packaged elements of the individual schemes, including the St Andrews branch, indicates that improvements to existing stations are highly consistent with the planning objectives and that the St Andrews branch performs particularly poorly in economic terms.

The key to Table 7.6 is shown below.

Planning Objectives

Economy

+++

Strongly Positive Impact

+++

BCR>2.0

++

Positive Impact

++

2.0>BCR>1.5

+

Slightly Positive Impact

+

1.5>BCR>1.0

-

Slightly Negative Impact

-

1.0BCR>0.75

--

Negative Impact

--

0.75BCR>0.5

---

Strongly Negative Impact

---

BCR<0.5

Table 7.6 Tay Estuary Appraisal

table