Network Rail and ScotRail have confirmed a £12m joint investment that will deliver a more modern and comfortable train service for customers between Glasgow Central and Paisley Canal by December 2012. The work to electrify the 8-km stretch of line will be the first major project to be delivered under a landmark new ‘alliance’ – in practice a closer, more efficient working relationship between the two rail organisations.
This relationship prompted a review of the specification required to electrify the route. As a result, the cost will be £12m – significantly down from the original range of estimates.
Babcock has been awarded the contract, which begins on site this week.
Customers will benefit in a number of ways: a more comfortable and reliable train service; quiet, eco-friendly trains that at peak times will include the newest trains in ScotRail’s fleet, the air-conditioned class 380s. Class 314s will also be used on the route.
Electric trains are much greener than their diesel counterparts; and can return energy to the grid through their braking systems.
The alliance between the two organisations has enabled cost savings across all aspects of the project. Significant savings have been achieved as a result of ScotRail waiving its right to disruption compensation payments from Network Rail.
Susan Anderson, Network Rail’s Route Commercial Manager, said: “This is the first tangible benefit for rail customers to be delivered through this alliance with ScotRail. We are delighted to be able to achieve this much more quickly than under traditional arrangements.”
Steve Montgomery, managing director of ScotRail said: “This work is set to deliver substantial benefits for customers while driving down costs. The ground breaking alliance is a leaner, more efficient way of working and sets the standard for future rail projects in Scotland.”
Transport Minister Keith Brown added: “This is fine example of joining forces to deliver a cost-effective solution that support the Scottish Government’s ambitions for electrified rail across the network. However, the big winners from the investment are passengers who will notice a marked improvement in performance, comfort and seat availability.”
Bob Whiley, managing director at Babcock said, “We are delighted to be a part of this electrification project, working with Network Rail and ScotRail to help deliver greater efficiencies for the Scottish rail network.”