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Delayed Scottish rail electrification set for next month

Network Rail Edinburgh to Glasgow

Electrifying of a 74km section of the Edinburgh to Glasgow rail line is due to start next month, following delays and setbacks on the project.

On 2 September 25,000v overhead power cables will undergo safety testing before electric trains are introduced later in the year. Electrification was due to be completed in May but was pushed back after a vital safety component in the overhead power cable infrastructure failed. The scheme was originally due to finish in December 2016 but was pushed back by seven months.

In May a Sunday Post investigation found that overhead wires and railway bridge walls were too low to meet safety standards, while costs on the project had climbed from £650M to £742M.

In 2014 Costain and Morgan Sindall were awarded a £250M contract to electrify the main railway line between Glasgow and Edinburgh.

The work is part of the Edinburgh to Glasgow Improvement Programme (EGIP), which is upgrading Scotland’s railway infrastructure to deliver faster journeys and increase capacity.

“Energisation is an important phase of work to test and validate the new equipment and ensure it is operating as it should. As well as ‘live testing’ the equipment, the energisation phase of work is critical to ensuring the safe introduction of the electric trains that will operate on the route from later in the year,” said Network Rail infrastructure projects route delivery director Kevin McClelland.

ScotRail has been contacted for comment.

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