Edinburgh to Glasgow bridge clearance programme completes
The new Niddry Castle footbridge has now opened to the public marking the completion of Network Rail’s route-wide bridge clearance programme ahead of the electrification of 45km of the Glasgow and Edinburgh (E&G) railway line.
The footbridge is the 60th and final structure to be replaced on the E&G as part of the Edinburgh Glasgow Improvement Programme (EGIP), a cumulative four-year project that required the replacement of each bridge in order to create the extra height needed to safely run the overhead electric cables.
In addition to replacing the bridge structures, 3,000 foundations have been installed to provide the base for each of the overhead masts. Platforms have been extended at stations including Croy, Falkirk High, Polmont and Linlithgow to accommodate the new seven and eight carriage electric trains when they are introduced later this year.
Over 100 parapets (side walls) of bridges route-wide have been raised to comply with safety standards and ensure the public is kept a safe distance from the overhead equipment. And 500,000 meters of OHLE cable will be installed by the time works complete.
Kevin McClelland route delivery director for Network Rail, said: “Niddry Castle footbridge marks another significant milestone in the delivery of the Edinburgh Glasgow Improvement Programme.
“We are now in the final phase of a complex project that’s had significant challenges at times. Not least because the majority of work had to be done at night to minimise the impact of train services, with much of the route also covering the most densely populated areas in central Scotland.
“With the civil engineering element complete, we are now running the last of the overhead cables as the project moves towards energisation of the E&G line.”
The EGIP project has also successfully completed the electrification of the Cumbernauld line, the redevelopment of Edinburgh’s Haymarket station and the completion of the Edinburgh Gateway train-tram interchange.