Network Rail has completed a programme of work between Edinburgh and Glasgow to secure the railway boundary and make it compliant with new safety standards ahead of the electrification of the line.
Completion of the Linlithgow cemetery boundary wall marks the end of a route wide, £3.3m investment on the main Glasgow–Edinburgh, via Falkirk High, line – which included replacing or increasing the height of 15km of walls and fencing to comply with the 1.8 metre safety standard for an electrified railway.
The cemetery wall at Linlithgow presented one of the more challenging aspects of this part of the work, given the sensitivities of the location and that scaffolding had to be erected over a number of graves bordering the boundary wall.
Spanning some 110m in length, the wall was raised by between 100 millimetres and 600 millimetres by removing the existing coping stones, rebuilding the wall and replacing the copes.
The work has been completed ahead of the energisation for testing of the line which is scheduled for Saturday, September 2.
Kevin McClelland, route delivery director for Infrastructure projects said: “Electrification marks a significant change to the railway environment in terms of risk for those living or working near to the newly electrified routes so it is important we do what we can to keep people safe.
“Linlithgow Cemetery represents the last section of our boundary work to be completed ahead of the electrification of the line as part of the Edinburgh Glasgow Improvement Programme (EGIP). From the outset, we were aware that working in this location had added considerations and so we worked closely with West Lothian Council’s cemeteries manager throughout to ensure that work was as unobtrusive as possible.
“With the route wide boundary works now complete, the 1.8m height walls and fences will help protect the public from the overhead power lines carrying 25,000 volts of electricity – enough to kill anyone who comes into contact with them.”
EGIP is a Scottish Government-funded investment to deliver a rolling programme of electrification across the central belt to enable faster, greener and more energy efficient electric trains to be introduced.
In addition to the 15km of boundary enhancements, 60 bridges have been replaced and the parapet heights at more than 100 bridges have been raised.
To date, EGIP has successfully completed the £80m electrification of the Cumbernauld line, the £25m redevelopment of Edinburgh’s Haymarket station and the completion of the new, £41m Edinburgh Gateway train-tram interchange.