ScotRail Class 380 electric multiple-unit.

UK: An alliance agreement with passenger franchisee ScotRail has 'significantly' reduced the estimated cost of providing 8 km of 25 kV 50 Hz electrification on the single-track line between Corkerhill Depot Junction and Paisley Canal, infrastructure manager Network Rail announced on July 11.

The project on the Glasgow suburban network is to be undertaken by Babcock, with site works to start in mid-July for completion by December.

This is the first major project to be delivered under the alliance. A review of the specifications identified cost savings which have reduced the price to £12m, which NR said was 'significantly down from the original range of estimates'.

Extended neutral sections will be used under bridges, reducing the need for rebuilding works which would require power and telecoms cabling within the structures to be moved. Track lowering will be used at key points, as this will be cheaper than raising structures. Clearances will allow the use of diesel multiple-units when electric multiple-units are not available, and enable potential freight operations to Hawkhead.

ScotRail has waived its right to disruption compensation payments from NR during the work.

'This is fine example of joining forces to deliver a cost-effective solution that support the Scottish Government's ambitions for electrified rail across the network', said Scottish Transport Minister Keith Brown.

  • On July 11 Transport Scotland issued a prior information notice a year ahead of the planned start of tendering for the new 10-year ScotRail franchise and a separate 15-year franchise covering Caledonian Sleeper overnight services. The franchises are expected to begin in November 2014 and be worth around £447m.