Major projects update
Published 3 September 2019 | Average read time
4 min read
Stories Project updates Putting passengers first

Our railway is busier than ever – the number of people travelling on it has doubled in the last 20 years.

We’re implementing a wide range of major projects to help meet the huge increase in demand.

Our investment plan is now entering its final phases and better, more frequent, faster journeys for hundreds of thousands of people are now months away for some, as the benefits start to come to fruition.

We look at some of our latest updates…

Edinburgh Glasgow Improvement Programme (EGIP) 

EGIP is a comprehensive package of improvements to Scotland’s railway infrastructure.

The £120m upgrade of Scotland’s third-busiest railway station is set to enter a new phase – platforms four and five at Glasgow Queen Street will close for a month from mid-September.

Engineers are preparing to deliver the final platform extension work following extensions to platforms two and three.

Extending both platforms by 26 metres will enable longer trains of up to eight carriages to use the station, giving passengers more seats.

Watch this video to find out more about the Glasgow Queen Street upgrade:

During the platform closure, engineers will dig out sections of the concourse, rebuild sections of the platform walls, lay new track and connect it to the existing infrastructure. They will also extend overhead power lines, install coping stones and carry-out re-surfacing works.

Great North Rail Project

The Great North Rail Project is a vast programme of improvements to transform train travel for customers in the North of England.

It will enable 2,000 extra services each week and allow 40,000 more passengers to travel each day. More trains with more seats, running more quickly and more reliably. Train customers are the immediate beneficiaries of improved transport links (or connectivity) between towns and cities in the North.

Blackpool is set to become one of the first towns in the North to benefit from new trains operated by Northern as part of a £500m investment in the region. The state-of-the-art fleet will connect the town with key cities.

The brand-new electric trains will operate between Blackpool and Liverpool from 9 September. More trains will arrive by the end of the year for services between Blackpool and York and Blackpool and Hazel Grove via Bolton.

One of Northern’s brand-new trains

Meanwhile, last month, one of train operator TransPennine Express’s Nova 3 trains launched, running between Liverpool and Scarborough.

Elsewhere, we warned the public to stay off the railway as new, high-voltage railway equipment switched on in Ashton-in-Makerfield.

We have installed overhead line equipment to support the introduction of electric trains across the North West of England as part of a project to redevelop the Wigan Springs Branch Depot.

We’re also working with Northern and TransPennine Express to extent more than 100 platforms at more than 70 stations across the North of England to allow for longer trains with more seats.

Wherry lines modernisation

Passengers in Norfolk will benefit from a significant upgrade in reliability and safety when a digitally-enabled signalling system goes live after the Wherry lines close for planned engineering works during February next year.

We’re upgrading the railway lines between Norwich, Great Yarmouth and Lowestoft to replace the mechanical Victorian semaphore signals – some of the oldest in the country – with a modern, computerised signalling system.

This will be the culmination of years of planning and the final phase of work to bring this part of the rail network into the 21st century.

Our goal is to bring all its assets into the digital-age and create a safer environment for passengers and rail workers, improve the passenger experience, provide better live passenger information and quicker recovery if the system fails.

The signalling system will be controlled from the Colchester Rail Operating Centre.