Early Glasgow Queen Street tunnel completion paves the way for electric trains
Transport minister Humza Yousaf joined engineers on Friday to celebrate the early completion of the major £60m refurb project at Glasgow Queen Street tunnel, as part of preparations for the Glasgow-Edinburgh main line electrification next year.
The project, completed almost three days ahead of scheduled, saw nearly 3,000 engineers work around the clock over the last 20 weeks to renew 1,800m of concrete slab track and install over 4,000m of new rails through the kilometre-long structure.
As a result, train services were reintroduced over the weekend, with most returning to normal frequency despite some minor changes to train times and station stops on some lines.
During his visit last week, Yousaf helped tighten the final bolts on the new slab track inside the tunnel, after which he spoke to customer service staff and congratulated the ScotRail-Network Rail Alliance on a job well done.
“This has been an unprecedented project, both in engineering terms and in the scale of the operation required to keep people moving and services diverted via the underground platforms during the works,” he added.
“This is a key milestone in our programme of investment for Scotland’s railways and literally paves the way for the introduction of a new generation of electric trains.”
Phil Verster, managing director of the ScotRail Alliance, said the upgrade works were a “massive engineering challenge” only made possible by careful planning and professional delivery, reiterating the remarks made to RTM by Rodger Querns, programme director for the Edinburgh-Glasgow Improvement Programme, late in June.
As well as paving the way for a new 70-train fleet of Hitachi Class 385s, the tunnel project completion also marks a milestone in an overarching set of works due to take place over the next three years. This will see engineers extend the Glasgow Queen Street station out towards George Square and build an entirely new concourse.
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