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NR erects first mast on Shotts electrification project

Network Rail has this week announced that the first mast for the electrification of the Shotts line between Holytown Junction and Midcalder Junction has been put in place.

The first steel works going up on the project, which is being delivered with contractors Carillion, marks the start of the next phase of the programme that will deliver 74km of electrified railway.

The infrastructure owner also stated that work is remaining on schedule to deliver the electrification project, which is expected to be completed by March 2019, creating the fourth full electrified line between Edinburgh and Glasgow.

So far, engineers have undertaken extensive vegetation clearance and piling for mast foundations, construction that has also been delivered in tandem with work on a range of bridges to ensure that lines can run underneath structures along the route.

With this bridge clearance work complete, the electrification element of the project will now move forward to erect 1,200 masts before running the overhead powerlines.

New electric Hitachi class 385 rolling stock will run on the line when the Shotts electrification project is eventually finished.

“This first mast going up is an important milestone in the delivery of the Shotts electrification project as people travelling on or living beside the railway will now start to see real, visual progress in the work to upgrade the line,” said Brian Mallon, programme manager for the Shotts Line Electrification.

“Although we still have piled foundations to complete, the way we are working with our contractors Carillion Powerlines has enabled us to start putting the masts up at the same time to deliver in the most efficient and cost-effective way possible while minimising disruption for both lineside communities and passengers.”

He added that the electrification of the Shotts Line is part of a rolling programme of work “contributing to the transformation of services across the central belt as part of the wider package of investment to enhance rail travel between the country’s two biggest cities, meaning passengers will enjoy increased capacity and better reliability with an improved service on the line”.

The Shotts electrification project moving forward follows Chris Grayling cancelling a number of important electrification programmes in England, a move that was heavily criticised by leaders in the north of the country.

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Andrew Gwilt   02/08/2017 at 13:13

Good progress so far on the Shotts Line. Aswell good progress on the Chase Line as new overhead masts, gantries and overhead wires to be erected and installed for EMU trains to operate on as London Midland will be using the Class 323's once the Chase Line electrification is finished. And the Scotrail Class 385's will soon start passenger service on the Glasgow-Edinburgh via High Falkirk route once the Shotts Line electrification is completed.

Swindon Bi-Mode   04/08/2017 at 11:50

One can't help noticing how slender and unobtrusive the electrification masts are in the picture. Compared to the monster gantries being erected for 140mph double pantograph trains that do not exist. For GW main line, we could have had a lot more masts for less money if the spec hadn't been over egged. The CTRL masts are lightweight, and proven suitable for 300kph, why couldn't we have had the same?

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