Campaigners have unveiled a proposed route for new rail services linking the North-east.

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.

Yesterday, at a special event organised by Aberdeen & Grampian Chamber of Commerce, the group premiered a video fly-through of the proposed route, which largely utilises lines shutdown in the 1960s.


WATCH: The proposed route for new North-east rail links

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

Freight potential

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.

Wyndham Williams, Co-founder of Campaign for North East Rail, urged local politicians and businesses to unite behind the plans at yesterday's event, held at BrewDog in Ellon.

"We care about the North-east, we want to see it do well and we want to see it grow and develop," he said.

He said that previous studies examining the potential of North-east rail had largely glossed over the huge potential for shifting freight, particularly from the region's food and drink sector, from road to rail.

He added: "The climate crisis has changed the context of public spending quite drastically and some of the best ways to address this crisis is through rail."

Aberdeen improvements

Attendees also heard from Alex Hynes, Managing Director of Scotland’s Railway, who provided an update on planned investment and enhancements on the network to reduce journey times between Aberdeen and the central belt.

He outlined how the way people are using rail has changed since the pandemic. Leisure travel has returned and exceeded pre-covid levels, but the number of people commuting for work four or five days a week has fallen sharply.

He also teased an exciting new convenience food and drink retailer which has agreed a deal to move into the newly revamped Aberdeen Railway Station.

The project, which began almost two years ago, will result in changes to the shops, improvements at the taxi rank, the relocation of the existing ticket office and a new first-class lounge.

The station entrance is being upgraded, better connecting the building to Union Square and the wider city centre.

More like this…

View all