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EGIP unlikely to meet end of year target – ORR

The Edinburgh Glasgow Improvement Programme (EGIP) is not on target to meet key milestones in its electrification programme by the target date of December 2016, the ORR has said.

In its annual assessment of Network Rail Scotland, the ORR said that although some aspects of the programme are processing well, there are “significant challenges” to the introduction of the first electric services by December 2016, because of problems such as the need for Network Rail to demonstrate infrastructure compliance with relevant international engineering specifications and its obligations under the Electricity at Work Regulations 1989. This issue has also affected other electrification projects.

The report also says that the Highland Mainline and Aberdeen to Inverness projects, both of which are currently in development, are also making “slow progress”.

However, it says that other projects, such as the Edinburgh Gateway and Glasgow Queen Street platform works, are “progressing well”.

The ORR also found that in 2015-16, Network Rail Scotland underperformed on its budget by £8m on renewals and £48m on enhancements owing to supply chain issues, contractor performance, more work than expected to maintain assets in an appropriate condition, severe weather and reduced volumes in some areas.

Phil Verster, managing director of Network Rail Scotland and the ScotRail Alliance, said: “Our Network Rail project teams and their suppliers have a strong and proud track record in Scotland of delivering on-time and on-budget. We need look no further than the Borders Railway line to see evidence of that.

“The programme impacts highlighted today will not delay the introduction of our exciting new fleet of faster, longer, greener trains.”

In its annual report for Network Rail England and Wales, the ORR said that Network Rail has improved its plans to deliver improvements, but may still face challenges in Great Western Main Line electrification.

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