Rail Industry Focus


£12m electrification for Paisley Canal line through new alliance

Source: Rail Technology Magazine Aug/Sept 2012

Steve Montgomery, managing director of ScotRail, and Susan Anderson, Network Rail’s route commercial manager, explain how the alliance between the two companies to upgrade the Paisley Canal line is working.

Network Rail and ScotRail have agreed a £12m alliance to fast-track the Paisley Canal line upgrade earlier and bring it in under budget.

The joint investment will be used to electrify the 8km stretch of line between Glasgow Central and Paisley Canal by December 2012. The contract has been awarded to Babcock, recently named Network Rail’s ‘Supplier of the Year’ at the Partnership Awards.

Cost savings for the project will be achieved through the use of extended ‘neutral’ sections when passing under overhead structures, requiring less rebuilding, and a careful assessment of required clearance heights.

The track will be lowered at key points to provide sufficient clearance. This will allow a DMU to operate if no EMU is available and will permit potential future freight traffic to Hawkhead station.

ScotRail has also waived 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 added: “This work is set to deliver substantial benefits for customers while driving down costs. The groundbreaking alliance is a leaner, more efficient way of working and sets the standard for future rail projects in Scotland.”

Most of the possessions will take place during the evenings, but there will also be some weekend/holiday working to ensure the project can be completed by December.

During the peak, the line will be served by ScotRail’s new Class 380 Desiros EMUs, with older BREL-built Class 314s used during the day.

Transport minister Keith Brown praised the alliance initiative and said: “This is a fine example of joining forces to deliver a costeffective 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, added: “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.”

The closer working between Network Rail and ScotRail was highlighted by an unprecedented joint apology released in May for poor performance on services between Glasgow and Ayrshire, Renfrewshire and Inverclyde over the preceding year – blaming severe weather, vandalism, and the impact of engineering works associated with the Glasgow-Paisley upgrade itself.

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