THE first section of a massive project to upgrade Scotland’s busiest rail lines was given the go ahead by Network Rail today with a £40 million contract to Carillion to electrify the Cumbernauld-Glasgow route.
New trains will run thrice rather than twice an hour by August next year and switch to Glasgow Queen Street low level station to create more space for other services in the main station.
The 15-mile scheme was originally conceived as the first part of a £1 billion Scottish Government plan to electrify the main Edinburgh-Glasgow routes and adjacent lines, which are used to divert trains during disruption.
However, ministers cut its budget by one third last summer, delaying the electrification of these other lines until after 2016.
This means the Cumbernauld project will be not be connected to the rest of the scheme, known as the Edinburgh-Glasgow Improvement Programme, or Egip, until the other lines are upgraded.
These include a section between Cumbernauld and the main Edinburgh-Glasgow line near Falkirk.