The Scottish government has given the green light for the £55m investment in decarbonisation. Construction work is getting under way this month and is due to be completed by December 2024. It forms part of a rolling programme that is expected to see electrification extended to Dundee and Aberdeen.
The scheme has been developed by Transport Scotland and Network Rail and will begin with electrification of the section between Haymarket and Dalmeny, south of the Forth Bridge.
The first phase of work between Haymarket and Dalmeny will see Network Rail pile the foundations for masts that will carry overhead wires up to the Forth Bridge. In total it will see 25 single track kilometres (STKs) of railway electrified by December 2024.
Subsequent phases of work will see ‘partial’ electrification of lines in Fife – totalling a further 104 STKs, to enable the introduction of battery electric multiple units (BEMUs) to replace life-expired diesel units which will be phased out.
Transport minister Jenny Gilruth said: “It is great news that the first phase of the Fife electrification project is expected to start this month as this will make a significant difference to passenger and freight services in the future.
“Delivery of the Fife decarbonisation project will support introduction of new rolling stock through partial electrification of the route.
“It will also help towards the delivery of our Rail Decarbonisation Action Plan which will see removal of all diesel on passenger services by 2035.
“The development work also being progressed on Borders electrification and on procuring new rolling stock shows we are fully focussed on rail decarbonisation. Our commitment is securing jobs in the rail design and delivery sector, as well as providing a stream of work for the supply chain.”
Alex Hynes, managing director of Scotland’s Railway, said: “We’re working hard alongside the Scottish government to bring the benefits of electrification to communities across Scotland.
“The government has set an ambitious target to decarbonise our railway and projects such as the electrification of the Fife Circle – starting with the line connecting Fife to Edinburgh, will be key to delivering on that commitment.
“We look forward to delivering further investment in Scotland’s Railway and significantly improving the quality of service for the communities it serves. This is one of a number of projects that will create an even greener, cleaner, and more reliable railway for Scotland.’’