A LOCAL politician has hit out at Network Rail, accusing them of watering down proposals to electrify a key route.

Labour candidate for Maryhill at next year’s local elections, Keiran O’Neill claims that Network Rail have reneged on proposals to electrify the Maryhill to Glasgow Queen Street route, which currently relies on diesel trains.

Mr O’Neill previously wrote to Network Rail last year, pressing them on their plans for the railway route.

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In an email seen by the Glasgow Times, Network Rail told Mr O’Neill that “prepatory work is underway, including exploring and reviewing options for the electrification of the Maryhill line between Anniesland and Glasgow Queen Street”.

Network Rail also advised Mr O’Neill that they would engage with local stakeholders regarding the plans.

However, Mr O’Neill believes these plans have been “watered down” after a route specification document was released saying that plans for the route would “reviewed” with no clear indication of plans to electrify the line.

Mr O’Neill has recently been selected to contest the Glasgow City Council election for the Scottish Labour Party next year. He said: “People in North Glasgow have waited far too long for a better rail service.

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“The fact that the plans to finally deliver electrification have been apparently watered down in this report despite previous assurances that it was a priority is a slap in the face to local residents who rely on these crucial services and have been campaigning for change for years now.

“Glasgow has just hosted COP26 and we know how vital public transport to tackling the climate crisis but some seriously seem to think running inefficient diesel trains is still acceptable when we should have an electrified line with more regular services.

“The Maryhill line is vital to connecting our communities and its electrification should 100% be an absolute priority of the new publically owned railway in Scotland. If I am elected in May I am fully committed to fighting to deliver that.”

Network Rail has been approached for comment.