Electrification programme

Of the 2,776 km of rail track in Scotland 25.3% (711 km) is electrified. 

The Scottish Government is committed to a substantial rolling programme of electrification that will bring significant economic, social and environmental benefits.

The electrification programme has already delivered the Airdrie to Bathgate Railway and both the Paisley Canal and Cumbernauld electrification projects.

Future electrification projects

Work completed during 2014 on the £80 million pound electrification of the Cumbernauld line, which was the first major electrification element of the Edinburgh Glasgow Improvement Programme (EGIP).  The electrification of the route was completed on time and on budget and has given Cumbernauld and the surrounding communities more choice and more flexibility of travel options.

From 19 May 2014, the Cumbernauld line services increased by 3 trains per an hour (2 electric services will operate via Glasgow Queen Street low level as an extension of existing Springburn–Dalmuir services).

Rutherglen & Coatbridge (Whifflet) Line

On 30 May 2013, Ministers announced the early electrification of the Rutherglen & Coatbridge (Whifflet) Line, which was scheduled to be delivered in 2018/19. The works were completed in September 2014.

The project was delivered through an Alliance Framework Agreement between Network Rail and First ScotRail and electrified 25.5 single track kilometres. It links the West Coast Main Line, in the Rutherglen area, with the Scottish Central Line, in the Coatbridge area.

Other projects

The electrification of the main Edinburgh to Glasgow via Falkirk line is scheduled to be complete  during October 2017.

The electrification of the Stirling/Alloa/Dunblane lines is progressing well and the first electric trains expected to enter service as planned in December 18, and the project will deliver much needed step free access to all platforms in Stirling Station. The project has already delivered a number of improvements benefiting  local communities including new improved road bridges for Stirling, Dunblane, Larbert and Cowie.

Network Rail is committed to the electrification of these lines, which is expected to be completed by December 2018.

Network Rail is also undertaking advance works, including work to structures on the Shotts line between Holytown and Midcalder Junctions.  This will enable the electrification of 75 single track kilometres (approximately 46 miles) by March 2019.

Timeline for the electrification programme

  • May 2014 — Introduction of electric services on Cumbernauld route (complete)
  • Summer 2014 — Electrification of the Whifflet Line (complete)
  • December 2017 — Full electric service delivering faster journey times between Edinburgh and Glasgow via Falkirk High route with new, longer Class 385 electric trains
  • December 2018 — Electrification of Stirling, Alloa and Dunblane lines with journey time improvements for passengers travelling to Edinburgh or Glasgow
  • March 2019 — Electrification of 75 km of the Shotts Line between Holytown and Midcalder junctions