A multi-million pound upgrade of the Alloa train line has been completed in order to prepare for the introduction of electric trains.
As part of the project, overhead power equipment required so that electric services can be introduced along the Stirling to Alloa route have now been installed.
The project is one part of a huge electrification programme that will link Stirling, Alloa and Dunblane to Glasgow and Edinburgh, and projects like this highlight the vital role that electrification will play on the UK’s railways in the future.
During the work on six miles of the Stirling to Alloa route, more than 200 masts were installed, along with supporting cantilevers and stringing overhead power lines.
The overall benefits of the wider scheme will be numerous; electrification means the trains are able to travel closer together, resulting in more services; some journey times will be increased; passenger comfort will be improved thanks to further seating; for those that live and work near the railways, noise and air pollution will be significantly decreased as a result off this drive.
Humza Yousaf, Minister for Transport and the Islands, explained what the scheme has delivered.
“Over this four-week period, Network Rail crews worked tirelessly to safely and successfully install over 200 masts and 14 kilometres of overhead wiring, taking s a step closer to electric services on the Stirling to Alloa route by December 2018.”
During the project, which is funded by the Scottish government who want to electrify lines along the central belt, hundreds of Network Rail’s engineers put in more than 16,000 combined hours of work to deliver the overhead power equipment.
Paul Reilly, Network Rail Progamme Manager, added: “Electrification will transform travel across the central belt of Scotland and is part of our commitment to delivering the best railway Scotland has ever had.
“Our engineers worked around the clock to complete this complex programme as quickly as possible in what were, at times, challenging weather conditions.”