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Upgrading the railway in Scotland

We’re investing £4.2bn in Scotland’s Railway in the next five years to make it safer, greener and more reliable. 

Here are five of our biggest projects helping do just that …

Glasgow-Barrhead electrification project

We’re working with the Scottish Government to electrify the railway between Barrhead station and Glasgow Central for a greener and more sustainable railway.

Engineers have spent the past two years installing 14,400 metres of overhead power cables and renewing 130 metres of track.

We reached a milestone this month by finishing the building work and successfully running the first electric test train along the route. 

This means we’re on track to bring you quieter, electric trains here this December.

We also carried out lots of work at Barrhead station, where we extended platform three by nine metres. This has made room for longer, four-carriage electric trains.

Levenmouth Rail Link 

This £116m Scottish Government-funded project will reconnect Levenmouth in Fife to the railway for the first time in more than 50 years.

We’ve worked since 2019 to lay down new track for the electrified line. We’re also building two new accessible stations – one at Cameron Bridge and another at Leven.

The project is expected to complete by spring 2024. It will lead to more transport, leisure and job opportunities for the local community and beyond. 

Upgrading Glasgow and Edinburgh stations 

We’re upgrading Scotland’s two busiest stations – Glasgow Central and Edinburgh Waverley – to give you a better travelling experience.

We’re investing more than £5m at Glasgow Central to upgrade the property. You’ll get a new layout with more accessibility, and new and bigger retail units for more shopping choices.

We’ve also installed high-definition customer information screens at Glasgow Central and Edinburgh Waverley.

The new screens are easier to read, with white text on a black background. They even respond to changes in lighting and sleep during the night to save energy.

Chris King, station manager at Edinburgh Waverley, said: “It’s great to see the new screens in place at Edinburgh Waverley. 

“We regularly experience four seasons in one day here in Scotland, and so it’s great news for our passengers that the information screens can adjust to the ever-changing light.” 

New stations, new connections

It’s not just thanks to the Levenmouth Rail Link project that you’re getting new stations in Scotland.

Inverness Airport station – next to the airport – opened in February to give you better connections.

East Linton station in the village of East Linton in East Lothian, near Edinburgh, is also set to open on 13 December. It sits on the East Coast Main Line, which runs from Edinburgh Waverley to London King’s Cross.

This means commuters will be able to travel into Edinburgh Waverley, with direct access to the East Coast Main Line also available for services to Dunbar and Newcastle.

East Linton has two platforms, 18 electric vehicle charging points and 114 car parking spaces, including blue badge priority parking.

We’re even developing plans to build a new station at Balgray, to the south of Barrhead, on the line between Glasgow and Neilston.

Conservation

An important part of work on the railway includes protecting and responsibly managing the acres of wildlife surrounding it. 

For example, we installed a bee bank next to a repaired sink hole in Ayrshire this summer. It’s designed to support several solitary bee species with warm, sheltered patches of bare ground where they can nest.

We’re also working with Forestry and Land Scotland on the Glenfinnan biodiversity project to protect and restore rainforest and peat and peat bog habitats in the West Highlands. 

The project sits within Scotland’s endangered Atlantic rainforest zone and covers about 200 hectares. We’re investing more than £300,000 to protect, enhance and expand these rare habitats for generations. 

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