Wednesday 1 Mar 2017
Network Rail completes Edinburgh-Glasgow bridges ahead of electrification
Network Rail has installed a new footbridge over the railway near Niddry Castle in Winchburgh – the final structure to be replaced – thus clearing the line for the electrification of the railway between Edinburgh and Glasgow.
The footbridge at this location was demolished in late 2015 with the new bridge installed over the weekend being the 60th and final structure to be replaced on the E&G as part of the Edinburgh Glasgow Improvement Programme (EGIP).
The bridges have been replaced to create the extra height required over the railway to safely run the cables needed for overhead line electrification and with the E&G route now ‘height cleared’, the next target for the project is to complete the overhead wiring and make the line live – which will be by Easter 2017.
The bridge in Winchburgh was craned into position over the weekend linking Niddry Castle Golf Club with the field opposite to reconnect a popular walking spot for the local community. While not the biggest or most intrusive structure of the 60 bridge clearance works, Niddry Castle is the culmination of 4 year programme of route clearance to height clear in order to safely run OHLE cables.
Kevin McClelland, Network Rail route delivery director for infrastructure projects, said: “Niddry Castle footbridge marks a significant milestone in EGIP as we move towards the final phase of delivering the electrification of the line between Edinburgh and Glasgow.
“By the middle of March, Niddry Castle footbridge will once again become a well-worn pathway enjoyed by the local community but for EGIP, it has a much wider significance for the project and an important step towards delivering the electrification of Scotland’s flagship route.
“This has been a major undertaking which has been delivered across seven council areas and necessitated some disruption to both the road and rail network and for lineside communities as work is largely delivered at night to maintain train services during the day.
“We would like to take this opportunity to thank residents across the route for their patience while we delivered this massive investment in our infrastructure. We are grateful for their patience and we are confident that the benefits delivered will make it worthwhile as the electrification of the line is a genuinely transformational investment.”
The EGIP is a Scottish Government funded investment to deliver a rolling programme of electrification across the central belt – reducing journey times and increasing capacity on routes by improving the infrastructure to enable faster, greener and more energy efficient trains.
In addition to the 60 structures replaced, the parapet heights at more than 100 bridges have also been raised route-wide.
To date, EGIP has successfully completed the £80m electrification of the Cumbernauld line, the £25m redevelopment of Edinburgh’s Haymarket station and the completion of the new, £41m Edinburgh Gateway train-tram interchange.
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 36,000 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.