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.

 

Work Continuing for East Linton and Reston Stations

Our chairman has received the following encouraging news from Sarah Cooper, Project Sponsor, Rail Technical Services of Transport Scotland.

"I can confirm that ground investigation work was completed at Reston and substantially completed at East Linton before the current COVID 19 restrictions were introduced on 23 March. This has allowed Network Rail’s designers to continue progressing with the design of each station.

"Network Rail submitted Environmental Impact Assessment screening documentation to both Councils earlier this year formally starting the planning process for both stations. In response both Councils have advised that both stations do not require to undertake an Environmental Impact Assessment.

"Network Rail is currently reporting that the ‘Proposal of Application Notice’ for Reston Station will be submitted by the end of May 2020. Network Rail is developing plans to ensure local communities have the opportunity to provide comments, in line with the revised Scottish Government Guidance on public consultation associated with planning applications which was published on 23 April.

"Preliminary design discussions with both planning departments are scheduled to take place this month."

 

As with the new platform at Dunbar, our photographer, Tom Dickson, will be visiting the sites to record progress as it happens.

As well as information about what is happening on the East Linton and Reston web pages, there are two new web pages dedicated to Tom's photographs.

Responses to Written Parliamentary Questions

Iain Gray, MSP for East Lothian and RAGES member, raised two written parliamentary questions, relevent to our campaign, which were answered on 17 January 2020 by the Transport Secretary, Michael Matheson, MSP.

Q. What progress has been made with the building of a new rail station at East Linton, and what the projected completion date is.

A. This Government remains committed to the delivery of East Linton station as early as practicable within Control Period 6 (2019 -2024).

Network Rail are currently progressing with the station designs. A holistic approach is being taken to the design of the station ensuring that the end to end journey undertaken by passengers is considered and reflected in the design. This includes how passengers will access the station and platforms.

A community liaison representative has been appointed to engage with both local communities, providing project information, attending community events and seeking feedback during both design and construction stages

Network Rail intend to submit their planning application in winter 2020 but in advance of this are already collating the information to undertake an Environmental Impact Assessment screening (EIA), as the first stage in the planning application process.


Q. What impact ending Abellio's ScotRail franchise in 2022 will have on the planned new services between Dunbar and Edinburgh via East Linton.

A. Timetable development work is ongoing and will continue as an industry process regardless of whoever operates services beyond the expiry of the ScotRail Franchise at the time of the introduction of services to Dunbar/East Linton.

An industry working group (East Coast Mainline (ECML) December 2021 Event Steering Group) has been established as per normal industry practice to plan for the December 2021 East Coast Main Line timetable. This includes provision and planning for services at East Linton and other stations on the line. Transport Scotland, ScotRail and Network Rail are active participants in the steering group.

In addition, the opening of the new fully accessible platform at Dunbar Station in December 2019, has created additional capacity on the route.

Iain Gray "cautiously welcomed these responses."

[Ed: These responses equally apply to Reston]

East Lothian Study

In May 2019, East Lothian Council published the following report: "East Lothian Access Study Stag Appraisal - Case for Change".

The full study can be found by Googling for the first six words of the report, but some sections of interest can be found by clicking on the following links: