News From the Central Belt
As you will see from the report of our Conference in this issue, Transport Scotland (TS) has scotched the rumours that the Edinburgh Glasgow Improvement Programme (EGIP) has been cancelled or seriously curtailed. We also understand that the issues over the lengthening of certain platforms at Glasgow Queen Street are not as serious as previously reported and completion of platform extensions is now proposed for December, 2018, from which point the Edinburgh - Glasgow via Falkirk High main line (E&G) will be an 8-car railway. By March, 2019, all services in and out of Queen Street should be electric except those to Aberdeen and Perth/Inverness plus the single daily train each way to and from Fife. However, the Almond curve, which would have enabled some Edinburgh to Glasgow trains to call at the new Edinburgh Gateway station serving the airport and which would have proved to be a useful diversionary route during the flood amelioration and electrification work in Winchburgh Tunnel (see FNE 59,), has been confirmed as deleted from EGIP. Invitations to Tender (ITTs) for the £400m electrification of 97 single-track miles (156 km) went out in the summer and are due to be returned this month (September). Another £250m or so has been earmarked for signalling upgrades, junction remodellings and platform extensions, together with the Gateway station and a new depot at Millerhill on the south-eastern outskirts of Edinburgh. It is anticipated that phase 1 - the E&G work - will start next year and be completed in 2016; phase 2 will follow. Abellio (page 5 ) is the only organisation so far to propose new rolling stock for EGIP but what we are particularly interested in is what will happen to the displaced diesel multiple units.