Friday 1 Sep 2017
Edinburgh-Glasgow electrification goes live
The public are being reminded that overhead power cables on the main Edinburgh-Glasgow line will be live for testing from this Saturday (September 2).
Work on the line between Edinburgh and Glasgow, via Falkirk High, will enter a testing and safety validating process from this weekend, which will enable the introduction of new electric trains later this year.
Safety on and around the railway is the responsibility of Network Rail and, with overhead power cables carrying 25,000 volts of electricity, a campaign is underway to highlight the new dangers an electrified railway poses to those who trespass on the tracks or accidentally make contact with overhead lines.
Kevin McClelland, route delivery director for Infrastructure projects, said: “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.
“Electrification also marks a significant change to the railway environment in terms of risk for those living or working near to the newly electrified routes so it is important we do what we can to make people, particularly young people, aware of this change and encourage them to stay safe near the railway.
“Electric trains will be quieter and accelerate faster than diesel ones they replace. The overhead power lines we have installed carry 25,000 volts of electricity – enough to kill anyone who comes into contact with them.”
As well as more than 100,000 safety leaflets being delivered through every door in lineside communities and messages online through social media, Network Rail has worked with industry partners in schools and through local groups to take the safety message into the classroom and into the community.
Network Rail is working in partnership with the British Transport Police, Scottish Football Association and local council education departments across six local authority areas to develop programmes which deliver the rail safety message in fun, interactive and engaging formats.
Additionally, a range of resources is available to highlight the changes in an electrified railway including Rail Life; an initiative aimed at young people which provides teachers and parents with a range of resources on rail safety issues. Further information can be found at Rail Safety Resources
The electrification of 46 miles of railway between Edinburgh and Glasgow marks an important milestone in the delivery of the overall Edinburgh Glasgow Improvement Programme (EGIP). A central part of the Scottish Government’s strategy to ensure the railway is fit for Scotland’s future, EGIP delivers a 20% reduction in journey times and adds 30% more capacity, on comfortable, efficient and more reliable electric trains.
About Network Rail
Network Rail owns, manages and develops Britain's railway - the 20,000 miles of track, 40,000 bridges and viaducts and the thousands of signals, level crossings and stations (the largest of which we also run). In partnership with train operators we help people take more than 1.65bn journeys by rail every year and move hundreds of millions of tonnes of freight, saving almost 8m lorry journeys. We employ 38,000 people across Britain and work round-the-clock, each and every day, to provide a safe, reliable railway.
About the Railway Upgrade Plan
The Railway Upgrade Plan is Network Rail's investment plan for Britain's railways. It makes up two-thirds of Network Rail's £40bn spending priorities for the five years to 2019 and represents the biggest sustained programme of rail modernisation since the Victoria era. It is designed to provide more capacity, relieve crowding and respond to the tremendous growth Britain's railways continue to experience; passenger numbers have doubled in the past 20 years and are set to double again over the next 25 years - so we need to continue to invest in building a bigger, better railway. For passengers, that means:
- longer, faster more frequent trains;
- better, more reliable infrastructure; and
- better facilities for passengers, especially at stations.