Dunblane - Perth - Dundee - Aberdeen electrification updates

numtot12345

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I remember this article about the Aberdeen-Central Belt improvements funded by City Region Deal: https://www.pressandjournal.co.uk/f...t-rail-upgrades-on-track-for-2026-completion/

Followed laterally by this PR by Network Rail:

1) the graphic in the P&J suggests services would route via Stirling, however assume that's not based on any concrete proposal?

2) how does this work tie in with the Electritification? And do the JTs associated with the City Region Deal work accout for electrification or not?

Thanks
 
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snowball

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I remember this article about the Aberdeen-Central Belt improvements funded by City Region Deal: https://www.pressandjournal.co.uk/f...t-rail-upgrades-on-track-for-2026-completion/

Followed laterally by this PR by Network Rail:

1) the graphic in the P&J suggests services would route via Stirling, however assume that's not based on any concrete proposal?

2) how does this work tie in with the Electritification? And do the JTs associated with the City Region Deal work accout for electrification or not?

Thanks
There was a bit of discussion of that press release when it first came out - see posts #103 and #106-#108 on page 4 of this thread:


I don't think anyone here knows how it relates to the electrification. There has been no announcement about the electrification, which we only know about because Marty82 discovered the Aberdeen planning application last week.

But it's perhaps beginning to look as if electrification is actually the core of the upgrade, and that that's why the graphic shows the route via Stirling, whether or not Edinburgh services will actually go that way.
 
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gingertom

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There was a bit of discussion of that press release when it first came out - see posts #103 and #106-#108 on page 4 of this thread:


I don't think anyone here knows how it relates to the electrification. There has been no announcement about the electrification, which we only know about because Marty82 discovered the Aberdeen planning application last week.

But it's perhaps beginning to look as if electrification is actually the core of the upgrade, and that that's why the graphic shows the route via Stirling, whether or not Edinburgh services will actually go that way.
one of the documents that forms part of the planning application listed a whole raft of interventions to do with electrification of the route. As mentioned a few posts ago, conspicuous by their absence are works to Moncrief tunnel and Tay viaduct, Perth- perhaps these will be taken care of during the station upgrade works or gauge enhancement ie different budget?
 

waverley47

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one of the documents that forms part of the planning application listed a whole raft of interventions to do with electrification of the route. As mentioned a few posts ago, conspicuous by their absence are works to Moncrief tunnel and Tay viaduct, Perth- perhaps these will be taken care of during the station upgrade works or gauge enhancement ie different budget?

As I've mentioned in other threads, there are three possible funding streams in Scotland.

Renewals is for like-for-like replacements of life expired assets, agreed in five year increments, and basically is NR's operating budget.

Enhancements is for upgrades or changes, such as remodelling junctions or providing new loops ect. This is also agreed in five year increments, but is set after such schemes have already been costed and approved. Carstairs falls into this scheme, as will any improvements to Perth or the Tay Viaduct.

The electrification budget is separate. Its a completely ring-fenced fund, in that NR can only spend it on wiring, however the amount is not set in advance. Its basically a separate enhancements budget given to NR over ten years or which will amount in total to the cost of wiring the network.
 

snowball

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The point about the mysterious absence of Moncrieffe tunnel and the Tay viaduct from the list in Appendix D is that they are thus not described as requiring OLE to be fitted, whereas other viaducts and Dock Street Tunnel, Dundee, which I think is the only other tunnel on the route, are described as requiring it. Perth station itself, two footbridges at the station, and some road bridges between the tunnel and the station, are on the list.

Now that we have a list of (not quite all) the structures that require work, we are left wanting to know about the sequencing of all the proposed works on the line, whether funded from the electrification budget or the enhancements budget.
 
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snowball

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Some docs there that seem to have no equivalents in the Aberdeen application.

Works to Moncrieff Tunnel (on the southern approach to Perth) are not proposed as part
of this project but there is a possibility of a separate freight project emerging in the future
which would involve a potential track lower.

...

The greatest levels of change within stations are anticipated to be around Arbroath and
Broughty Ferry Stations. In Arbroath, proposals are under development considering the
proximity of the station, level crossing, listed footbridge and listed signal box. The works
will require the removal of the listed lattice footbridge, and closure of the adjacent level
crossing. There is a potential need for a track lower through the station and works to the
surrounding bridges (including Guthrie Port bridge) and whilst all these interventions are
unlikely to be required when detailed design is complete, this has been considered as a
worst-case scenario for EIA screening purposes.
In Broughty Ferry, there are 7 road overbridge interventions, 5 of which are close to the
town centre. The approach to interventions is impacted by the Broughty Ferry Level
Crossing, where the wire height must be higher to allow for safe electrification. The
closure of Broughty Ferry Level Crossing can be avoided because the level of bridge works
and other works would remain broadly the same in either (open/closed) scenario. This is
because wire heights at Broughty Ferry are driven by the station platforms of Broughty
Ferry station rather than the level crossing. The alternative to bridge decks is the closure
and relocation of the station. The result is that most of the interventions in Broughty Ferry
are bridge re-decks. The demolition of two road bridge are required: bridge 090/195 which
is west of Broughty Ferry (Broughty Ferry Road), and 090/201 (Fort Street) and bridge)
which is closer to the town centre. There is also a need to replace 134/032 (the Sailing
Club footbridge).

...

There is another Network Rail project under development which seeks to make
improvements to the journey time from Aberdeen along the A2CB corridor to Edinburgh
(20 minutes) and Glasgow (3 minutes). This would be achieved via works addressing
existing corridor constraints – i.e., single track sections, shortage of freight loops,
signalling constraints and track layout constraints at Montrose, Arbroath, Dundee and
Aberdeen stations. A separate but interlinked signalling strategy is also being developed
which may propose additional passing loops. Final decisions on funding are yet to be
made, and such proposals would be subject of a separate EIA screening request to the
relevant Councils.
Work is also progressing on a Perth Station masterplan which will address the station and
its environment. As proposals are at an early stage, this EIA screening request cannot take
into account any proposals which arising from the masterplan. However, where
interventions are required, these would usually be undertaken ahead of the introduction
of OLE. If appropriate such works would be subject of a separate EIA screening request to
P&KC.

Timing of works remain under development, with advanced design/consenting
anticipated to start in mid-2022. The overall construction process is expected to take
approximately 6-7 years delivering engineering works to bridges, tunnels and track
including installation of OLE foundations , signalling infrastructure and OLE
masts/overhead wiring at the end This is anticipated from 2023-2028/9. New rolling
stock is expected to be introduced by winter 2029.
Phasing of the works is yet to be fully determined. However, to maximise efficiency it is
envisaged that works may occur concurrently across the geographical extent of the route.
The tunnel works are likely to be undertaken partly under a blockade (where the railway is
shut for a period of weeks) whereas bridge deconstruction/demolition could occur over
weekend possession (when the railway is temporarily shut). Reconstruction of a bridge
may be feasible during weekday and weekend nightshifts. More widely, work is likely to
occur over weekdays and weekends with the likelihood of nightshifts. As for other Network
Rail projects, any impacts on stakeholders, passengers and the wider community will be
carefully managed through a Stakeholder Engagement Plan (see Mitigations section).
 
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Class 170101

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The point about the mysterious absence of Moncrieffe tunnel and the Tay viaduct from the list in Appendix D is that they are thus not described as requiring OLE to be fitted, whereas other viaducts and Dock Street Tunnel, Dundee, which I think is the only other tunnel on the route, are described as requiring it. Perth station itself, two footbridges at the station, and some road bridges between the tunnel and the station, are on the list.

Now that we have a list of (not quite all) the structures that require work, we are left wanting to know about the sequencing of all the proposed works on the line, whether funded from the electrification budget or the enhancements budget.

Perhaps they aren't being done at all and discontinuous electrification is on the cards?
 

ld0595

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Perhaps they aren't being done at all and discontinuous electrification is on the cards?
I thought discontinuous electrification was always the plan. Wire up the easy bits first and then use EMUs with batteries to operate in the gaps.
 

NotATrainspott

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The route plan attached to the application doesn't show any gaps.

My understanding is that isolated sections of OHLE near feeder stations and major stations will be completed and activated first. Discontinuous electrification means a lot more flexibility in programming each stage of work even if the end goal is to have wires from end to end. A traditional scheme would mean there'd be no choice but to start at Dunblane and complete it to Perth (including fixing Montcrieffe Tunnel and the station), then the complete section to Dundee and so on. With the service pattern being as it is, there'd be relatively few services able to convert to electric traction until the very end, and possibly not even until wires reach Inverurie.
 

snowball

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Among the documents in the Dundee application found by exilis in #36, the most informative one is the Request for Screening Opinion. Part way through section 2.1, at the top of page 8, it says

"The A2CB line proposals are anticipated to comprise a full electrification system with overhead lines required from end-to-end."

[A2CB = Aberdeen to Central Belt]

We have seen other documents saying that the general strategy for long-distance electrification in Scotland is the use of discontinuous electrification as a stepping-stone to continuous electrification, as said by Id0595 in #39 and in more detail by NotATrainspot in #41. It may well be that this will happen on A2CB but there's nothing to say it in the Request for Screening Opinion. Its inclusion would probably be irrelevant to the purposes of the document, and the details may not yet have been decided.

Presumably it would require battery trains but these are not yet on order. The Request for Screening Opinion mentions new rolling stock but only around 2029, around the time the project is supposed to be completed.

A possible explanation for the omission of Moncrieffe Tunnel from Appendix D is quoted by me in #37 but this doesn't cover the omission of the Tay Viaduct.

By the way, welcome to the forum, exilis.
 

calycentral

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There must be a good case for making Inverurie - Stonehaven the first stretch. Cross-Aberdeen trains would be frequent, Inverurie to Aberdeen is ready to wire, and wiring Aberdeen would reduce the amount of diesel used by the Azumas. Aberdeen City Deal and Aberdeen decarbonisation would also be ticked. That could be followed by Dundee - Arbroath and ultimately Dundee - Aberdeen all on 385s. The argument for continuous operational areas is a good one but has to be broken at some point when new regions are electrified (eg the first blue trains back in the 60s).
 

numtot12345

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There must be a good case for making Inverurie - Stonehaven the first stretch. Cross-Aberdeen trains would be frequent, Inverurie to Aberdeen is ready to wire, and wiring Aberdeen would reduce the amount of diesel used by the Azumas. Aberdeen City Deal and Aberdeen decarbonisation would also be ticked. That could be followed by Dundee - Arbroath and ultimately Dundee - Aberdeen all on 385s. The argument for continuous operational areas is a good one but has to be broken at some point when new regions are electrified (eg the first blue trains back in the 60s).
This is a good shout. Only thing to consider is the Hutcheon St tunnel which might not be easy. However of they use BEMUs that shouldn't be a problem as they could run on battery through that section.

Reason I say that is depending if they were to do any work to double track the tunnel to increase capacity and reliability to facilitate A-I phase 2 services but also potential for Ellon link, the electrification could happen as part of that. However based on other threads this has been discussed this is probably very unlikely given costs involved.
 

snowball

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Are there many services from Edinburgh via Fife which go no further than Perth, Dundee or Arbroath? I think the south Fife wiring announced last week may not be enough to reliably decarbonise such services. A train might get to Perth or Dundee OK but with low batteries to start the return journey. So I think some extra wiring through or near Perth or Dundee may be needed next.
 

Clansman

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Are there many services from Edinburgh via Fife which go no further than Perth, Dundee or Arbroath? I think the south Fife wiring announced last week may not be enough to reliably decarbonise such services. A train might get to Perth or Dundee OK but with low batteries to start the return journey. So I think some extra wiring through or near Perth or Dundee may be needed next.
The full timetable has both Perth and Dundee being served 18 times a day each, by terminating trains via Fife from Edinburgh.
 

waverley47

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Are there many services from Edinburgh via Fife which go no further than Perth, Dundee or Arbroath? I think the south Fife wiring announced last week may not be enough to reliably decarbonise such services. A train might get to Perth or Dundee OK but with low batteries to start the return journey. So I think some extra wiring through or near Perth or Dundee may be needed next.
Roughly half the trains to Fife go as far north as Glenrothes. 1tph around the coast to Glenrothes, 1tph each way the full way around the circle, plus 1tph to Cowdenbeath via Dunfermline.

When the Thornton wiring is finished, that will give 4tph (Levenouth timetable still pending but likely to remain 4tph) that can switch over to battery EMUs.

Beyond that, you have 1tph stopper terminating at Arbroath, and 1tp2h semi-fast to Perth that aren't beyond the realms of possibility to switch over, but may be pushing the range slightly.

That's 4tph each way of 3/4/5 coach stopping, commuter spec DMUs that can be binned relatively easily.

After that the next easy wins are wiring to Arbroath to let the semi-fasts switch over.

Edit: pre-Covid timetable
 

59CosG95

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Barnhill Jcn just the other side of the Tay Viaduct is getting renewed soon with a speed increase on a faster turnout, along with some associated curve works I understand.
Speaking of Barnhill Jn...


Piling specialists Van Elle were contracted out by RSAS (Rail Systems Alliance Scotland) to Barnhill Jn about 3-4 days ago to install CHS (cylindrical hollow section) piles as part of the works.

Whether this is for OLE or signalling I don't yet know; it's most likely OLE based upon the pile size, but some signal gantries have been installed using piles identical to the one in the picture.
 

Speed43125

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Speaking of Barnhill Jn...


Piling specialists Van Elle were contracted out by RSAS (Rail Systems Alliance Scotland) to Barnhill Jn about 3-4 days ago to install CHS (cylindrical hollow section) piles as part of the works.

Whether this is for OLE or signalling I don't yet know; it's most likely OLE based upon the pile size, but some signal gantries have been installed using piles identical to the one in the picture.
Apologies if this has been mentioned up thread, but as part of EGIP, signal boxes in the Stirling have been retained, albeit all semaphore signals under the wires replaced with colour light equivalents, is this likely to be carried forward towards Perth?
 

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