A railway electrification project in Scotland has been hailed as the way forward for railway co-operation.
ScotRail waived its right to disruption compensation payments from Network Rail during extensive engineering works. Both organisations worked together to maximise time engineers had available at evenings, weekends and during a nine-day closure of the line in mid-October.
A fully electrified service is now running on the Paisley Canal line after Network Rail and ScotRail completed the £12m upgrade of the route on time and on budget. The award-winning project, which only started last August, has been delivered in just four months and at less than half of the £28m the upgrade was originally expected to cost.
The electrification of the line is the first major project to have been delivered under a landmark new alliance between Network Rail, ScotRail and main contractor Babcock Rail, with all organisations working closely to save time and money.
Says David Simpson, Network Rail route managing director for Scotland, ‘The successful on-time completion of this scheme demonstrates how, by working closely together, the rail industry can enhance the service it provides the public while cutting the cost of projects. Delivering a project of this size in just four months is a significant achievement for all involved and one that will have real benefits for those using the line and those living alongside it.’
The project involved electrifying five miles of the route from Corkerhill to Paisley Canal station, as well as rebuilding the platform at Hawkhead and lowering sections of track along the route to allow the new overhead power cables to run beneath bridges on the line.
Significant cost savings were made on the scheme by using extended ‘neutral’ sections when passing under overhead structures. This meant no bridges needed to be raised as part of the works, reducing costs by millions.
Steve Montgomery, managing director of ScotRail, added, ‘Paisley Canal is the new benchmark for collaborative railway projects. We need this flexibility and commitment to become the norm to ensure that we continue to offer the best combination of services, facilities and value for money for customers.’