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EGIP electrification delayed again due to ‘safety critical’ problem

Electrification work on the Edinburgh-Glasgow rail line that aims to speed up journeys on the Scottish network has been further delayed, it has been revealed.

Speaking at the Scottish Parliament last week, transport minister Humza Yousaf told MSPs that Network Rail had written to him to say that the failure of a “safety critical” component will lead to the completion of the Edinburgh Glasgow Improvement Programme (EGIP) being pushed back further than its original opening date of July this year.

This follows RTM reporting in July last year that the ORR had warned the electrification programme was unlikely to meet its end of year targets, including the introduction of the first electric services by December 2016.

Writing to Yousaf, Mark Carne, chief executive of Network Rail, said: “Regrettably, it is now clear that a safety critical component is susceptible to failure and must be replaced. This will impact the energisation start date.

“We are working extremely closely and collaboratively within the ScotRail Alliance to assess how the impact of this challenge can be minimised for passengers and we will keep your officials informed.”

Yousaf told Scottish politicians that he had arranged to speak to Carne to ascertain more details about the component failure, as he went on to say that he would be keeping Parliament up-to-date with any developments of the delay.

“Any further delay to EGIP – once again due to Network Rail –would be extremely disappointing,” Yousaf said. “We remain focused on the main objective, which is the Edinburgh to Glasgow via Falkirk High route being served by longer electric trains by December 2017.”

And the transport minister also used the delay on the EGIP to push for further devolution of Network Rail’s responsibilities to the Scottish government.

“The potential further delay again highlights the need for further devolution of governance of Network Rail’s projects, which are ordinarily managed out with the ScotRail Alliance, so that Network Rail is properly accountable to this Parliament and this government, which of course funds its works in Scotland,” added Yousaf.

A Network Rail spokesman said there was an “emerging issue” around some of the installations on the Edinburgh-Glasgow electrification programme, and “we are working hard to assess the implications of this and won’t be commenting further until we have completed that work”.

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Ryan   22/05/2017 at 17:09

I was under the impression that the line would be temporarily worked by Class 380s spared from elsewhere as the Class 385s are not ready yet to enter service...

Andrew Gwilt   22/05/2017 at 22:47

Just like the cancelled electrification on the Midland Main Line (north of Bedford).

Andrew JG   23/05/2017 at 01:24

Well at least the Gospel Oak-Barking Line "GOBLIN" electrification is still going ahead. With the new London Overground Class 710's Aventras EMU's to be built at Bombardier Derby facility and to replace the Class 172's Turbostar DMU's (also built by Bombardier) once the electrification on the GOBLIN route is completed and the new 25kv OHL is energised and the Class 710's are in passenger use. Hopefully the GOBLIN line should reopen late this year or probably next year.

Ryan   23/05/2017 at 17:18

Except that the Midland electrification hasn't been cancelled and will be extended to (at least) Corby and Leicester...

John Gilbert   25/05/2017 at 01:36

Why should a "safety-critical" component fail when it hasn't even been used yet? Or alternatively why was it used in the scheme in the first place; electrification is hardly a new idea!! This is just another miserable cock-up in Network Rail's competence to electrify our rail lines. (See the Great Western scheme for the first and supreme cock-up of all.)

AG   25/05/2017 at 22:58

If electrifying certain railway lines in Wales, England and Scotland is the best way to become greener. Then what about electrifying the railway lines elsewhere including some parts of the North Downs Line that isn't electrified will soon be electrified with DC 750v 3rd Rail so that GWR Class 387's can replace the Class 165's and to operate the Reading-Gatwick Airport via Redhill route and Southern to operate the London Victoria-Guildford service via Redhill/Reigate once the electrification has been completed on the non-electrified part of the North Downs Line to be electrified. And also why not electrify the non-electrified lines in East Anglia including-Ipswich-Lowestoft & Felixstowe, Norwich-Great Yarmouth & Lowestoft, Norwich-Sheringham, Ipswich-Cambridge & Ely, Norwich-Ely and Ely-Peterborough lines with AC 25kv Overhead so that DMU trains will be replaced by EMU trains. Or will it not happen and Stadler Bi-Mode Flirts will be used on those routes as Greater Anglia have ordered the Bi-Mode Flirts aswell the new EMU rolling stocks to replace the older EMU rolling stocks.

London Commuter   27/05/2017 at 10:27

The Gospel Oak-Barking line electrification works should be completed by around September this year or late this year (before Christmas). Before the LO Class 710's are to be manufactured at Bombardier Derby plant and to be delivered from April/May next year or possibly late next year with the Elizabeth Line Class 345's currently under construction and some have been completed and delivered and are on test runs.

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