Plans have been unveiled by Scottish council leaders for a ‘tram-train’ link between Glasgow Airport and the city center. The £144m (US$179m) Glasgow Airport Access Project, part of the £1.13bn (US$1.4bn) City Region Deal, an ongoing infrastructure investment, would involve a hybrid vehicle that uses both the existing railway network and on-street tracks, with the total journey taking just over 16 minutes.
The system is not entirely approved as yet, but if it went ahead construction could begin in 2022, with the tram-trains fully operational by 2025. Four tram-trains would travel per hour in each direction between Glasgow Central and Paisely using existing track, then switch to a new tram-line system to complete the journey to the airport. An interchange at Paisley would allow passengers from elsewhere in Scotland to access the service.
Frank McAveety, Glasgow City Council leader, said, “We’ve long argued that a new rail link between the airport and the city center is essential for the thousands of tourists and business travelers who fly into and out of Glasgow every day. The airport already supports thousands of jobs, but this new rail link, which is the single biggest element of our city deal, will be the catalyst that takes us to a new level, vastly improving the customer experience and generating even more jobs and inward investment. We are committed to delivering this tram-train link and, best of all, the money to pay for it is already in the bank.”
Ross Nimmo, planning manager, Glasgow Airport, added, “We welcome the identification of the tram-train as the preferred option. It has a very strong business case, with conservative estimates suggesting the airport is set to become one of the busiest train stations in Scotland. This is great news for travelers, and whether they choose the train, the bus or the car, Glasgow Airport will be easier to get to than ever before.”