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New lines and journey times in the spotlight at upcoming north-east transport meeting

By David Porter

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Is the north-east of Scotland on-track for better rail services?

That’s the focus for a major transport event being held by Aberdeen and Grampian Chamber of Commerce at the end of this month.

The Campaign for North East Rail has built up a head of steam, securing widespread cross-party support for its plans to reinstate rail from Dyce northwards to Ellon and on to Peterhead and Fraserburgh.

The event on June 30 at Brewdog’s Ellon HQ, will see proposals brought to life with a ‘fly-through’ video of the route and a detailed case document published.

Since proposals were last considered by transport chiefs, the world has changed — with an environmental imperative to scale up green transport options.

With Peterhead currently the largest town in the UK which lies furthest from a train station, new opportunities to transport carbon for storage at St Fergus by rail have the potential to create a robust economic case for new freight and passenger lines north of Aberdeen.

Attendees will also hear from Alex Hynes, managing director of Scotland’s Railway, who will provide an update on planned investment and enhancements on the network to reduce journey times between Aberdeen and the Central belt.

The event is free to Chamber members and open to anyone interested, with free transport available to those coming from Aberdeen.

Commenting, AGCC Policy Adviser Fergus Mutch said: “We all know the potential for this region to become the net zero capital of Europe — and a flourishing, well-connected, enterprising region.

“But we need to match that ambition with investment, giving passengers clean, green, reliable public transport options within the region itself, in connecting to the rest of the country and to the world.

“Is there are a not-so-distant future where passengers Peterhead can hop on on a hydrogen-powered train to Dyce to catch a flight?

“What about using hydrogen produced locally at St Fergus, where CCS infrastructure could allow carbon to be freighted in from across the UK by rail?

"And just think about the transformational impact on communities like Ellon and Fraserburgh from being connected to a national railway network.

“The Campaign for North East Rail is building up a head of steam — and we’re excited to hear how this project could boost business right across the region.

“We’ll also hear from the man at the top of Scotland’s Railway, Alex Hynes, on his plans to cut journey times between Aberdeen and the central belt over the coming decade.

“This event is about the vision for transport, not excuses for why it’s not possible.

Full details of the event and booking link are available here: https://www.agcc.co.uk/event-details/creating-rail-connectivity-track-tion-in-the-north-east-for-a-lower-carbon-future-2022-06-30

See https://www.campaignfornortheastrail.org to find out more about the Campaign for North East Rail.

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