Scottish Electrification updates & discussion

edwin_m

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The only signalling diagrams that use colours other than black and white are those involved with the commissioning of new works. If that were a new works diagram, green would mean that the lines/equipment were being removed, and red would mean new lines/equipment being built (With blue for those awaiting a decision). No yellow in any diagram as it can easily be overlooked, especially in low light. We don’t otherwise use colours on standard signalling diagrams, instead signals are represented using specific symbols and can be read by a trained member of staff regardless of any colour blindness (Though, that may prevent you passing a medical depending on its severity).
I think this deserves its own thread. Please see https://www.railforums.co.uk/threads/colourblindness-and-engineering-drawings.207171/
 
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Altnabreac

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So when I started this thread 7 years ago I included absolutely every line that even had a sniff of being electrified. I was optimistic that some of this would happen but this plan is beyond even my best expectations.

I though I was pushing my luck including lines like Girvan, Dumfries, Borders and Aberdeen - Inverness but there they all are.

And while I might have contemplated Dingwall as an outer edge of what you might hope for, Tain is a step beyond what I even thought to forecast.

Very happy with this plan.
 

mcmad

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I suspect there will only ever be 1 or 2 schemes actually in construction at any one time to keep the 'flow' going.

Sure I saw a chart somewhere that showed they wanted a continuous stream so while project EK was in construction, project B would be in enabling works and project C would be in design.
 

Trackbedjolly

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The short red line east of Inverness is almost certainly to allow ac electric loco-hauled freight trains to get to/from Norbord at Dalcross and not related to any passenger service. There is a sentence in the report stating that their aim is to allow freight to be electric-hauled and that is the logical result. Currently there is no goods siding at Norbord but it could be provided in future.
 

Kendalian

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Whilst it's great to see such ambition for the railways, I can't help but feel the plans are more of a wish list than realistic plans, especially when the COVID bills hit the mat.

In England we need to put more pressure on DaFT to raise their game in England....electrification planned from Inverness to Tain but cancelled from Market H to Clay Cross....
 

Sprinter156

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It's good knowing that girvan will eventually be electrified. also noting that they intend to replace diesel units from 2025-2035, does this mean the 156's (the oldest scotrail dmu as of now) could be leaving first?
 

Altnabreac

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Do you plan to keep this thread going or will you start others as various schemes start up? If there are multiple schemes on the go it may get unwieldy -
I suspect there will only ever be 1 or 2 schemes actually in construction at any one time to keep the 'flow' going.

Sure I saw a chart somewhere that showed they wanted a continuous stream so while project EK was in construction, project B would be in enabling works and project C would be in design.
I suspect that there’ll only be a couple a year ongoing so hopefully this thread can continue to cover the broad thrust of it.

If people want to start reporting on schemes mast by mast then we might need some scheme specific threads but previously no one has been doing that level of detail on the Scottish electrification projects.
 

Altnabreac

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Whilst it's great to see such ambition for the railways, I can't help but feel the plans are more of a wish list than realistic plans, especially when the COVID bills hit the mat.
I’ve had some professional involvement in ambitious, multi million pound (non-railway) schemes run by the Scottish Government and I have to say that they tend to be pretty tenacious about delivering the scope and ambition of these sort of schemes once they’re announced.

Ensuring the full geographic Scotland wide benefit is likely to be a strong priority.

If schemes come under financial and deliverability pressure the response tends to be to stretch the timescale rather than to reduce the ambition of the overall vision. So I’d say that the 2035 aim is ambitious and that possibly that’s a date that may not see everything wired as per the report if costs etc don’t come down as planned.

But having set out the strategic vision and got a rolling programme going it’s not the end of the world if you only deliver 110 track km per year instead of 130. Just means your use of bi modes is extended a couple of years but the overall scheme ambition isn’t reduced.
 

66C

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I think Bill Reeve will be looking for some early results from this programme to satisfy Holyrood hence the early introduction of bi-modes to the Fife circle, Levenmouth and Tweedbank. With work progressing on Barrhead, East Kilbride and continuing to Kilmarnock. Also high on the list are the Glasgow infill schemes and spades in the ground shortly for Dunblane Perth.
 

mcmad

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Dunblane to Perth will need a lot of enabling works before spades start to go in the ground to plant masts. Resignalling and a fair few bridges to alter first.
 

Clansman

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Dunblane to Perth will need a lot of enabling works before spades start to go in the ground to plant masts. Resignalling and a fair few bridges to alter first.
If only it came down to a few bridges and resignalling! Perth is an absolute derelict bombsight that will need millions pumped into it just to even set it up for electrification.

Definitley will be perhaps the most complex part of the journey to getting wires up to Aberdeen/Inverness, given the extent to the works required (station remodelling, track layout rebuilding to new alignments, Moncrieffe tunnel track bed lowering, Tay crossing duelling, demolishing and reconstruction of St Leonard's bridge, new depot...) and the disruption that this will inevitably involve.

It'll certainly be interesting to see how TS and Network Rail plan to go about the Perth blockade. Surprising that there hasn't been more detailed proposals into how this would look beyond the initial Scotland Route Study that was released a few year ago - especially given the ramping up of proposals to get the wires up by 2035.
 
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takno

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If only it came down to a few bridges and resignalling! Perth is an absolute derelict bombsight that will need millions pumped into it just to even set it up for electrification.

Definitley will be perhaps the most complex part of the journey to getting wires up to Aberdeen/Inverness, given the extent to the works required (station remodelling, track layout rebuilding to new alignments, Moncrieffe tunnel track bed lowering, Tay crossing duelling, demolishing and reconstruction of St Leonard's bridge, new depot...) and the disruption that this will inevitably involve.

It'll certainly be interesting to see how TS and Network Rail plan to go about the Perth blockade. Surprising that there hasn't been more detailed proposals into how this would look beyond the initial Scotland Route Study that was released a few year ago - especially given the ramping up of proposals to get the wires up by 2035.
Sounds like they'd be better off just building a new station down the road with new approaches
 

66C

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As I mentioned earlier they are going to start with the easy section to Auchterarder while planning continues on the section north from there to Perth. There are options like running Glasgow, Inverness and Aberdeen trains via Fife while major works take place.
 

CaptainBen

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This is a particularly strong line:
This action plan does not set out detailed cost information by route: that analysis has yet to be undertaken.
In other words, we have no idea what this will cost or who is going to pay for it. Anyone care to estimate the likely costs of wiring up a few hundred line-kms in some fairly remote parts of the country?
 

hwl

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This is a particularly strong line:

In other words, we have no idea what this will cost or who is going to pay for it. Anyone care to estimate the likely costs of wiring up a few hundred line-kms in some fairly remote parts of the country?
Not many bridges to sort in remote parts. The wiring up bit is usually a minority of the costs, sorting the rest of the infrastructure is usually the majority.

Is a purge of steel sleeper needed in any of the "green" routes?
 

66C

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Don't think steel sleepers are a problem. Handy for clearance under bridges you gain 100mm using them. S+T can use axel counters instead of track circuits to counter any issues.
 

Philip Phlopp

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In other words, we have no idea what this will cost or who is going to pay for it. Anyone care to estimate the likely costs of wiring up a few hundred line-kms in some fairly remote parts of the country?
The more remote, the better, frankly.

Route clearance is the killer, not the masts and wires bit. Electrification shouldn't come in any more expensive per stkm than Edinburgh to Glasgow, where there were all manner of issues - slab tracking and fitting more complex OLE at Winchburgh and Cowlairs Tunnels, rebuilding the canal system at Carmuirs, bridge rebuilding at stations like Polmont and meeting the listed building issues at Glasgow Queen Street.

Urban bridge rebuilding is a particular headache, having to liaise with utilities and have pipework and cabling diverted onto temporary structures whilst a bridge is demolished and rebuilt. When you move into rural areas, overbridges tend to be free from utilities and can be demolished and rebuilt fairly quickly and thus cheaply. They also tend to be fewer in number and of course, in rural areas, a road closure and diversion is easier to organise than in the middle of a busy town, whereas many rebuilt bridges on recent schemes have had to be finished under traffic light control to minimise closure periods.

Tunnels are another issue, but again, they tend to be less prevalent in rural areas - from Dunblane to Perth, there's only Moncrieffe Tunnel at 1210 yards, from Perth to Inverness, there's only Kingswood Tunnel (330 yards), Inver Tunnel (370 yards) and Killiecrankie Tunnel (240 yards), whilst from Edinburgh to Dundee via Fife (both sides of the Fife Circle) there's only North Queensferry Tunnel (460 yards), Inverkeithing Tunnel (410 yards) and Kinghorn Tunnel (260 yards)

The Fife tunnels are tight and will take time to electrify, but should be no worse than Winchburgh or Cowlairs. Moncrieffe Tunnel is a bit tight, but might manage with one or the other - slab track or rigid conductor, Killiecrankie Tunnel on the other hand will be a bit more challenging, with the associated viaduct limiting what can be done. It's also worth remembering that there's now more experience built up in the UK using the OBB-PORR slab track system, with quite a bit of that experience being Scottish in recent years, the use of the F+F rigid overhead conductor system too is something the engineering teams are becoming very familiar with (and there's ROC outside of tunnels now too, which is a useful precedent).

The bridges across the Forth and Tay will be difficult, as I've discussed, but not particularly costly. There will be bespoke steel elements needed and they'll have to be painted to match the Forth Bridge for visual impact, there will also be some additional electrical components needed, but that's all a drop in the ocean compared to rebuilding a major structure, and that itself is a drop in the ocean compared with diverting the Edinburgh City by-pass to fit in an underpass for the Borders Railway.

So in short, I would expect, thanks to a combination of generally easier route clearance, more stable electrification standards, and most importantly, hard fought experience from some really tricky initial projects in Scotland, the average cost per single track kilometre for the proposed works will be somewhere in line with those on the Shotts project and if I had to guesstimate, a bit lower than that.
 

GRALISTAIR

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The more remote, the better, frankly.

Route clearance is the killer, not the masts and wires bit.

So in short, I would expect, thanks to a combination of generally easier route clearance, more stable electrification standards, and most importantly, hard fought experience from some really tricky initial projects in Scotland, the average cost per single track kilometre for the proposed works will be somewhere in line with those on the Shotts project and if I had to guesstimate, a bit lower than that.
Very reassuring thankyou for your comprehensive reply which I have shortened to the bits that stood out to me. Everything screams "Rolling Programme and NOT Stop-Start".
 

Altnabreac

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This is a particularly strong line:

In other words, we have no idea what this will cost or who is going to pay for it. Anyone care to estimate the likely costs of wiring up a few hundred line-kms in some fairly remote parts of the country?
We know that the investment will come from the Scottish Government rail capital investment budget.

They already invest significant sums each year so this will be part of that existing budget. Now that may be traded off against a decrease in money available for other infrastructure investments but frankly the low hanging fruit of viable new lines and stations in Scotland are starting to have been picked and once Levenmouth is open the remaining reopening campaigns are much more marginal.

Even so I’m sure a few more stations will reopen and perhaps even one or two more new lines after Levenmouth.

Now as you rightly point out detailed costs are not set out but in some ways with a rolling programme this is less important budget wise than for a specific scheme. Scottish Government can set an annual budget for the decarbonisation programme and if costs per km are lower than expected it just means the track km per year delivered will be higher. Equally if things work out more expensive then the overall programme takes longer to deliver but doesn’t actually cause any year on year budget issues as the annual fixed expenditure remains the same.

It’s noticeable that the track km to be delivered 2035-45 are quite low so even if the 2035 target is ambitious (it is) and isn’t quite hit then the 2045 eventual network still looks very deliverable even if the initial programme were 2-3 years late.
 

Altnabreac

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I still think extension of Borders line to Hawick will come in my lifetime and electrified all the way - to Carlisle possibly not.
Yes mainly off topic for this thread but Hawick, Grangemouth, Bridge of Weir probably the main possibilities.

To bring it back on topic however any such reopenings now will need to be electrified from day one so cost of wiring will need to be included in the reopening BCR which possibly makes business cases more difficult for new line reopenings.
 

GRALISTAIR

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To bring it back on topic however any such reopenings now will need to be electrified from day one so cost of wiring will need to be included in the reopening BCR which possibly makes business cases more difficult for new line reopenings.
Well as Scotland truly gets it, I don't have any worries on that score and think that they will electrify new openings from the gitgo wherever humanly possible.
 

ForTheLoveOf

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Yes mainly off topic for this thread but Hawick, Grangemouth, Bridge of Weir probably the main possibilities.

To bring it back on topic however any such reopenings now will need to be electrified from day one so cost of wiring will need to be included in the reopening BCR which possibly makes business cases more difficult for new line reopenings.
To a certain extent I think that's only really realistic in today's environment. I think the Borders Railway is probably the last new stretch of line that will be opened using diesel units.
 

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