Hundreds of railway related jobs will be created and supported by the start of contract awards for the £741.5 million Edinburgh to Glasgow Improvement Programme (Egip).
Network Rail has signed alliancing contracts with Costain and Morgan Sindall to develop detailed scope, programme and target price for the project which will electrify the entire line by 2016. The contractors will work with Network Rail for five months to develop in depth plans for electrifying the line from Glasgow Queen Street to Edinburgh Waverley as well as other related major railway infrastructure works.
The main £250 million civil engineering and electrification contracts will be awarded this summer. The project involves extending platforms at Queen Street, Croy, Falkirk High, Polmont and Linlithgow. Queen Street station is to be substantially upgraded with a new façade and station concourse, and integration with the adjacent Buchanan Galleries shopping development.
Costs of the Queen Street work have more than doubled to £120 million from an initial estimate of £49 million. The cost of electrification via Falkirk to make the journey faster had earlier been cut by 20% to £248 million as the Scottish government scaled back its ambitions for achieving faster journey times.
The projects are part of a Scottish Government funded £1Bn programme of railway investment which has already seen a £25 million redevelopment of Edinburgh's Haymarket station and work on 42 bridges to create the clearances needed for electrification.
David Dickson, Network Rail's acting route managing director for Scotland, said: “EGIP is a unique opportunity to modernise the main Edinburgh-Glasgow line and transform services for passengers. The alliancing approach we have announced today will also allow us to work more closely with contractors and stakeholders to plan the project in the most efficient, cost-effective way for passengers and tax-payers alike.”
Photo: Colin Smith