Class 380 EMU at Drem on its first day
Rail Action Group East of Scotland
RAGES

Contents

Aims of RAGES

To improve the rail service between Edinburgh, Dunbar and Berwick upon Tweed.

To have East Linton and Reston stations re-opened for active use.

To improve the level of service to North Berwick.

To re-open the branch line from Longniddry to Haddington.

To consider the implications with regard to car parking and bicycle storage at stations between Waverley and Berwick upon Tweed.

To keep under scrutiny the standards of passenger facilities at stations between Waverley and Berwick, including North Berwick, and to draw the attention of the relevant bodies to shortcomings which arise.

The group, being environmentally minded, will actively strive to encourage rail travel within its geographical area.

 

Latest Campaign News

Response from the Minister for Transport following meeting

In response to Tom Thorburn's questions at the meeting on 8th February with Humza Yousaf, Minister for Transport, wrote to Tom. The main points are below and the full text will be published in the nest issue of The Rages Rag.

In noting RAGES request for more services through Dunbar station, the Minister replied that the advantage of the funding option chosen by the councils is that it addresses the capacity constraints on the route with an opportunity to assess the capacity and infrastructural implications of additional East Coast services, the new TransPennine Express services (Newcastle-Edinburgh), the First Group's Open Access service (Edinburgh-London) and how these services might interact with a ScotRail calling pattern at Reston Station on flows between Edinburgh and Berwick upon Tweed.

The Minister confirmed that he had authorised the construction of a second platform at Dunbar Station which will allow stopping services to be routed more quickly through the area. This platform, which is scheduled to be complete by 2019/20, will be long enough to accommodate 10-car Super Express trains and will include a footbridge with lifts, providing step free access between the platforms. Network Rail is also working with East Lothian Council who have an aspiration to extend the existing car park to the front of the station on Network Rail land. There will be an integrated plan that allows work to start on the car park extension when the area is no longer required by the contractor. Network Rail has recently held two public discussion meetings about the proposed work at Dunbar station.

With regard to our enquiries in relation to fares at Dunbar Station, the Minister understood that there are off-peak fares available (singles and day returns) the price of which are set by Virgin Trains East Coast (VTEC) and confirmed that Standard Day Returns and 7 Day First/7 Day Standard tickets increased by 1.9% but Cheap Day Returns/Cheap Day Singles and First Day Return/First Day Single tickets increased by 4.9%.

He noted that cross border passenger services, such as those provided by CrossCountry Trains and VTEC, are operated under franchises that are specified and awarded by the UK Government (with the exception of the Caledonian Sleeper service) and that Scottish Ministers are entitled to offer advice on the specification of these services to the Secretary of State for Transport as they relate to Scotland, however, they do not have any contractual or financial agreement with any Train Operating Company operating under a Department for Transport franchise.

However, the Minister noted that ScotRail now operates Dunbar Station and it plans this year to investigate the ownership and transfer of fares flows at the station, adding that ScotRail is also currently reviewing the car parking policy at all stations with a view to looking at capacity and providing a better, more secure service for ScotRail customers. As part of this review Michael Hall, ScotRail Programme Transformation Manager, has been meeting with local authorities and Regional Transport Partnerships to understand the issues in their areas.

Further meetings with RAGES and councils have been delayed owing to the two elections.