Edinburgh Glasgow line cleared for 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.