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23 March 2010

First milestone of £1 billion rail scheme underway

Work on the £1 billion Edinburgh-Glasgow Improvements Programme (EGIP), Scotland’s single largest rail improvement programme ever, is making good progress as preparatory work for the electrification of the railway nears completion.

A pilot piling programme to test the foundations for the overhead electrification wires has been trialled at 95 sites along the length of the route between Glasgow and Edinburgh.

The £950,000 contract was awarded earlier this year to Carillion plc and is expected to conclude at the end of this week.

Transport Minister Stewart Stevenson said:

“The Edinburgh-Glasgow Improvements Programme will revolutionise the rail network in Central Scotland and I’m delighted that early work on this exciting programme of rail improvements is already well under way.

“The completion of the pilot programme which finishes this week will determine where the major electrical infrastructure will be best located as part of the electrification of the railway across central Scotland. Although the complete programme of works is not due to finish until 2016, this is an important milestone which will bring a cleaner, more efficient railway.

“Through Transport Scotland, we have tasked the rail industry in Scotland with making the improvements necessary to encourage people to make the switch away from the private car to rail which will provide cuts in carbon emissions - underlining our commitment to both the climate and the commuter.”

The complete programme will see services between Scotland’s two largest cities transformed, with today’s five or six services per hour with a fastest journey time of 50 minutes increased to 13 services per hour with a fastest journey time of around 35 minutes – the fastest scheduled service between the two cities in the history of the railway.

Stewart Stevenson
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