The Railway Industry Association (RIA) has reaffirmed its support to find routes for private industry investment in railway infrastructure, a key topic at it’s annual summit held yesterday (19 September).

Speaking to a packed audience at RIA Scotland’s annual summit, incoming Chair of RIA Scotland’s leadership group, Campbell Braid, said: “RIA has consistently called for more consideration of opportunities for private investment in railway infrastructure.

“Earlier this year we produced a report named, ‘How can the UK railways secure more private investment?’. This report identified four key challenges and put four key asks to UK and Scottish Governments. The paper has been written following input from members and stakeholders from other industries, such as energy and water, and calls for a clear policy on rail and private investment.”

In one of her first industry keynote addresses since taking over as Transport Minister in June, Fiona Hyslop MSP acknowledged this was an area of significant interest to Scottish Ministers but stressed that the private sector must demonstrate the ‘added value’ such investment would bring.

Ms Hyslop echoed comments made by First Minister Humza Yousaf, when presenting the Programme for Government last week, saying: “A key focus in the year ahead will be to work across the public and private sectors to drive forward agreed recommendations from the Investor Panel on how we attract private investment for large scale infrastructure projects and use public spending more effectively to crowd in private capital”.