CONSTRUCTION on a rail link between Glasgow city centre and Glasgow Airport could start in 2021 and be operational by 2025, it has been announced.
A scheme to build a tram-train link is one of two options being put forward for a new connection between Glasgow city centre, Paisley and Glasgow Airport as the flagship project in the £1.13bn Glasgow and Clyde Valley City Deal.
Tram-train carriages would operate on the heavy rail network between Glasgow Central Station and Paisley Gilmour Street before moving on to new tram rails running between Paisley and the front of the airport terminal building. The journey would last just 16.5 minutes.
A “light rail personal rapid transit system” is also being considered. In this scheme, passengers would travel by standard train to Paisley before disembarking and changing onto a new light-rail system to complete their journey to the airport.
The estimated cost of a tram-train link is £144.3 million, which includes construction, rolling stock, inflation, contingency and land purchase. The personal rapid transit option would cost £102 million and would involve a mix of the existing heavy rail network and a new light railway connecting from heavy rail at Paisley to the airport utilising a bespoke system similar to that used at other airports.
The airport access project within the City Deal programme is being delivered jointly by Renfrewshire Council and Glasgow City Council, with Renfrewshire acting as the lead authority.
Both options will be put before councillors in both authorities before going to the Glasgow and Clyde Valley Cabinet for approval. If approved, further work would be done to develop more detail on both of these options before a final, preferred choice is made next year.
Amanda McMillan, managing director of Glasgow Airport said, “Improving transport links to Glasgow Airport is a top priority for us, particularly at a time when we are enjoying sustained passenger growth. Over the past 12 months alone we have welcomed an additional one million passengers through our doors, so it is important that improved transport links can be achieved as soon as possible.”