Latest Rail News

11.10.13

Winchburgh tunnel to tunnel to close for EGIP upgrade

A key tunnel on the Edinburgh-Glasgow route will have to close for 44 days as part of the electrification and upgrade of the line, it has been confirmed. 

The Winchburgh tunnel in West Lothian will close in summer 2015, with all services re-routed. 

Some trains could be diverted via Dalmeny but trains would have to then reverse because a planned £175m chord was shelved by the Scottish Government minister last year to save money, the Scotsman reported. 

In a letter to MSPs in affected areas, transport minister Keith Brown wrote: “I can now confirm that the current assessment of the likely duration of the closure is 44 days, substantially less than the ‘three months’ being quoted in some quarters, with my officials continuing to work closely with both Network Rail and First ScotRail to try to reduce this duration even further. 

“These works have been planned for summer months to reduce the number of passengers affected by the disruption, however, all connections will be maintained via diversionary routes.” 

About £10m compensation is likely to be paid to ScotRail because of the disruption to services. 

The initial budget for the Edinburgh Glasgow Improvements Programme (EGIP) – was cut by a third to £650m last year. 

By 2018, journey times between the two cities should be down to 42 minutes – though this is less of a reduction than originally planned. 

A spokesman for Transport Scotland said: “We are confident that working together Network Rail and First ScotRail will minimise passenger disruption across the network during the EGIP works. 

“The decision to phase the delivery of EGIP was prudent as the initial phase provides sufficient capacity well into the next decade when further decisions can be made around future phases of EGIP aligned with considerations on High Speed Rail.” 

Tell us what you think – have your say below or email opinion@railtechnologymagazine.com

Comments

Ricp   14/10/2013 at 00:27

If they had included the Dalmeny Chord, then NR would have paid Scotrail minimal compensation, so how much is this 'saving' costing?

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