Benefits of an Edinburgh-Newcastle high-speed rail link

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The greatest use of air travel within the UK is between central Scotland and London. This paper discusses the construction of a high-speed rail link (350 km/h capability) between Edinburgh and Newcastle to reduce the Edinburgh-London rail journey time to an equivalent flight time, with the objective of achieving greatest modal shift from air to rail travel with consequent reductions in carbon emissions. The paper describes the existing rail route and its limitations. A broad specification and a possible proposed route that would utilise the existing rail network and stations at each end are discussed. The paper also covers the overall costs of relative transport modes, how these modes can be equally treated and possible sources of finance. Short-term East Coast Main Line capacity improvements and the longer-term view that an Edinburgh-Newcastle link would be only a start in the development of high-speed rail on this route are discussed. It is concluded that the UK should follow the lead of other European countries and develop a high-speed rail network, primarily as a means of reducing carbon emissions from aircraft.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)71-78
Number of pages8
JournalProceedings of the Institution of Civil Engineers: Engineering Sustainability
Issue number2
StatePublished - Jun 2006
Externally publishedYes


  • Railway systems
  • Transport planning

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Civil and Structural Engineering


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