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Background Info

The background to this petition has arisen from the opening of the StirlingAlloa-Kincardine railway line. The train operators who use the Forth Bridge to transport coal to Longannet Power Station transferred their route via Larbert when this new railway line was opened.

There is a need to petition the Parliament to highlight the issue to make sure that the train operators and Network Rail take appropriate action to alleviate the problems that I and the people of Larbert have been experiencing particularly at night, due to the noise and vibration of coal trains going through our community.

It is worth noting that Falkirk Council’s Environmental Department has carried out a noise and vibration survey in the Larbert area. Of the two freight operators carrying coal, DB Schenker and Freightliner, the level of noise and vibration from the DB Schenker trains is almost double that of Freightliner. The reason for this is that Freightliner use coal wagons that are more ‘track friendly’. The wagons being used by DB Schenker were banned from use on 2 the UK rail network up until 1996.

The community in Larbert recognise the environmental benefits of switching coal transportation onto rail. However the impact this has on some of our communities affected by such heavy rail must be taken into account.

Given that a change of coal wagon would significantly reduce the problem being experienced by the people of Larbert, Network Rail, DB Schenker and Scottish Power should be questioned on why this reasonable course of action could not be taken. Technical evidence could also be taken from Falkirk Council’s Environmental Health Department on the findings of its study.

Michael Matheson MSP has also held a Member’s Business debate on the issue as well as holding two public meetings within the area. He has also been in contact with Network Rail, Scottish Power, DB Schenker and Falkirk Council. 

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