Scottish Electrification updates & discussion

Clansman

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Perth is listed up to the hilt, so it would be a massive shame not to adapt the layout whilst maintaining the current structure.
How the layout is best adapted is the big question.

Initial proposals suggested what looked to be the removal of platform 3 & 4 for use as the main concourse and the existing depot for parking and main entrance, with a depot at the Friarton in the south to account for the drastic decrease in available stabling space within the remodelled station. For HML services, a new platform 8 island where the current wash yard is adjacent to 7, and a freight loop and further stabling facilities in behind.

Though this has changed a fair bit I imagine. For one, land has been purchased by Network Rail adjacent to platform 1 for potential stabling space that wasn't initially outlined, as well as mootings that the proposed Friarton depot will now be housed in Muirton.

Ultimatley the key for Perth station itself is maintaining/increasing stabling space on site where possible, while enhancing the connectivity from opposite ends of the station with more integrated infrastructure, the increase of parking facilities, and the relaying of track to the south to allow far greater speeds that currently account for at least 5 mins of the current journey times between Perth and the south. Not easy with inconveniently layed out listed structures build for 19th century standards and demands.

Anyone's guess, really.
 
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clc

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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.
The problem for Bridge of Weir is there seems to be political momentum behind the revised (and much improved) plans for the Glasgow Airport rail link. I reckon the latter would provide Renfrewshire with its share of the investment cake for the next 20 years at least.
 

Philip Phlopp

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Electrification of the route into Fife potentially makes revisiting the Edinburgh Airport Rail Link more feasible, whilst we're on the subject of airport railway links. The original iteration became overly costly when the tunnels and underground station had to have complex ventilation and fire control provisions so diesel rolling stock could access the airport.

The EARL scheme also needed the procurement of new higher performance diesel units to make up the time spent on a stop at Edinburgh Airport, the desire at one point was the 'Super' Turbostar that Bombardier offered to First/Keolis TransPennine (a Voyager with a Turbostar body).

It becomes a less complex project when all the rolling is electric, doesn't generate the same environmental and safety considerations, and has the superior performance to match current timings whilst fitting in a stop at Edinburgh Airport.
 

66C

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My apologies my sources tell me it may be a couple of years before work on the ground starts on the Dunblane to Perth wiring and the current thoughts on the signalling is to retain most of the present signal boxes and install 3 aspect colour lights. Presently high up the agenda are the electrification islands at Thornton and Tweedbank.
 

Steven_G

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Apologies if I am late to this but wasn’t the East Kilbride Elecrification already part of CP6 and that was where, the now cancelled, additional 10 385 were being bought for.?

By time new scotrail franchise takes over and new rolling stock ordered/leased, that line will already be complete and waiting......for how long
 

edwin_m

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The problem for Bridge of Weir is there seems to be political momentum behind the revised (and much improved) plans for the Glasgow Airport rail link. I reckon the latter would provide Renfrewshire with its share of the investment cake for the next 20 years at least.
Which flavour of Glasgow Airport scheme is currently in favour? Last I heard it was a PRT shuttle from Gilmour Street.
 

NotATrainspott

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Electrification of the route into Fife potentially makes revisiting the Edinburgh Airport Rail Link more feasible, whilst we're on the subject of airport railway links. The original iteration became overly costly when the tunnels and underground station had to have complex ventilation and fire control provisions so diesel rolling stock could access the airport.

The EARL scheme also needed the procurement of new higher performance diesel units to make up the time spent on a stop at Edinburgh Airport, the desire at one point was the 'Super' Turbostar that Bombardier offered to First/Keolis TransPennine (a Voyager with a Turbostar body).

It becomes a less complex project when all the rolling is electric, doesn't generate the same environmental and safety considerations, and has the superior performance to match current timings whilst fitting in a stop at Edinburgh Airport.
Electrification of the route would also make a stop at Edinburgh Gateway more viable. It is mentioned in the report that electrification may deliver capacity increases as freight and stopping passenger trains can be made faster. EARL as an idea won't make sense with the combination of the Almond Chord and the Edinburgh Gateway station in existence, but it may well have been easier to build if electrification had been done before.

It's quite probable that any significant sections of new line would be electrified from day one. It's one thing to reopen one of the Victorian railway routes, which tended to be as flat as possible for the benefit of steam trains. Modern DMUs can fairly easily handle gradients that posed difficulties for arbitrary steam services (e.g. heavy freight). Therefore electrification won't be a pre-requisite for reopenings unless they need to plug into an existing electrified service network (e.g. Airdrie-Bathgate, Larkhall).

Any new lines designed for LDHS services at 200km/h or above would be electrified from the start for obvious reasons. Aside from that there are only really two concepts for new lines. A cross-city tunnel in Glasgow needs to be electrified for every possible reason. The other kind of new line would be some sort of bypass line that doesn't form part of an electrified LDHS network. I think the only semi-concrete idea for one would be that Fife bypass route along the M90 allowing express trains to bypass both the Fife coast and Dunfermline routes. A route like this may well be possible to build without electrification, since any trains on it would be headed out onto unelectrified lines in Fife and beyond. It being electrified from day one would mean it could have much steeper gradients without trains slowing down too much.
 

Philip Phlopp

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EARL as an idea won't make sense with the combination of the Almond Chord and the Edinburgh Gateway station in existence, but it may well have been easier to build if electrification had been done before.

It's quite probable that any significant sections of new line would be electrified from day one. It's one thing to reopen one of the Victorian railway routes, which tended to be as flat as possible for the benefit of steam trains. Modern DMUs can fairly easily handle gradients that posed difficulties for arbitrary steam services (e.g. heavy freight). Therefore electrification won't be a pre-requisite for reopenings unless they need to plug into an existing electrified service network (e.g. Airdrie-Bathgate, Larkhall).
Edinburgh Gateway is marginally better than nothing, but comes a poor second to a proper railway station located within the Edinburgh Airport site.

I also don't see how any reopenings won't need electrification, given the intention is to electrify everything in Scotland, other than the West Highland, Far North and Kyle lines. I keep telling people, electrification is easier, much cheaper and considerably faster if you do it before track is laid.
 

clc

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Which flavour of Glasgow Airport scheme is currently in favour? Last I heard it was a PRT shuttle from Gilmour Street.
The thinking is that there should be a metro or tram link from the city centre along the Clyde corridor to the airport then continuing to PGS. PGS to the airport is therefore regarded as Phase 1 of this new line. No decision has been made on the technology to be used but the PRT proposal has been officially dropped as it’s not something which could be extended to the city centre.
 

gsnedders

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Electrification of the route into Fife potentially makes revisiting the Edinburgh Airport Rail Link more feasible, whilst we're on the subject of airport railway links. The original iteration became overly costly when the tunnels and underground station had to have complex ventilation and fire control provisions so diesel rolling stock could access the airport.

The EARL scheme also needed the procurement of new higher performance diesel units to make up the time spent on a stop at Edinburgh Airport, the desire at one point was the 'Super' Turbostar that Bombardier offered to First/Keolis TransPennine (a Voyager with a Turbostar body).

It becomes a less complex project when all the rolling is electric, doesn't generate the same environmental and safety considerations, and has the superior performance to match current timings whilst fitting in a stop at Edinburgh Airport.
And it functionally provides an Almond Chord, so provides the capacity uplift that is likely to be provided one way or another in the coming decades.

That said, I wonder how it'll fit in politically: it rather undermines the new, shiny Edinburgh Gateway, and it's probably politically tenuous until at least the I7C stock can run via the tunnel.
 

13h202

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I think that investing in aviation infrastructure of any kind will be politically impossible, particularly given the reason for the recent resurgence in this thread – decarbonisation. EARL is dead. The best anyone can hope for is better ticketing integration with Edinburgh Trams and the Almond Chord being built.
Edinburgh Gateway's long-term job is to serve the ever-growing western district, with the thousands of homes, offices and attractions that will spring up over the next few decades. It isn't a white elephant as some claim, and is actually a rare instance of future proofing that many on this forum clamber for.
 

och aye

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And it functionally provides an Almond Chord, so provides the capacity uplift that is likely to be provided one way or another in the coming decades.

That said, I wonder how it'll fit in politically: it rather undermines the new, shiny Edinburgh Gateway, and it's probably politically tenuous until at least the I7C stock can run via the tunnel.
Given the way air travel is going to be for the next few years, I doubt an EARL V2.0 is going to be on the radar any time soon. If and when air travel recovers, then that would be a time to look at it again.

I certainly wouldn't be against it, if it gave people a direct connection from Fife, Perth, Dundee, Stirling, Falkirk even Aberdeen (dare I say Glasgow? :lol:) to the airport, especially for major connection hubs (LHR, CDG, AMS, FRA, IST, DXB, DOH) and long-haul N. American destinations. I think Edinburgh Gateway with the Almond Chord is probably the most we'll probably see in this decade though, along with better through/integrated ticketing with the Tram to the airport (the last point could be done without too much effort!)
 

Class 170101

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I think that investing in aviation infrastructure of any kind will be politically impossible, particularly given the reason for the recent resurgence in this thread – decarbonisation. EARL is dead. The best anyone can hope for is better ticketing integration with Edinburgh Trams and the Almond Chord being built.
Edinburgh Gateway's long-term job is to serve the ever-growing western district, with the thousands of homes, offices and attractions that will spring up over the next few decades. It isn't a white elephant as some claim, and is actually a rare instance of future proofing that many on this forum clamber for.
Don't assume that planes can't be decarbonised at source at some point in the future. As far as we know Heathrow 3rd Runway is still going ahead so they are still expecting links to the rest of the world this way and therefore Edinburgh will still want links to Heathrow and hence EARL electrified will be needed.
 
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och aye

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I think that investing in aviation infrastructure of any kind will be politically impossible, particularly given the reason for the recent resurgence in this thread – decarbonisation. EARL is dead. The best anyone can hope for is better ticketing integration with Edinburgh Trams and the Almond Chord being built.
Edinburgh Gateway's long-term job is to serve the ever-growing western district, with the thousands of homes, offices and attractions that will spring up over the next few decades. It isn't a white elephant as some claim, and is actually a rare instance of future proofing that many on this forum clamber for.
Indeed. The station is already useful to get to The Gyle Shopping Centre and some parts of Edinburgh Park. I believe that the developers of the West Craigs development directly north of the station want to build a pathway to the station. There has been speculative talk that the West Craigs Industrial Estate to the right of the station could be developed into housing too.

Certainly electrification of the line and the Almond Chord will help boost the station numbers also.

This image from the Elements Edinburgh development website probably shows it best (04 is Edinburgh Gateway):


 

NotATrainspott

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I'd be really interested to see what sort of journey time and capacity improvements would be possible with EMUs on Fife Circle services. Even without the Fife bypass line idea, longer distance journeys to Perth or Dundee and beyond could be sped up if they won't be caught behind a stopper on the coast.
 

gsnedders

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I think that investing in aviation infrastructure of any kind will be politically impossible, particularly given the reason for the recent resurgence in this thread – decarbonisation. EARL is dead. The best anyone can hope for is better ticketing integration with Edinburgh Trams and the Almond Chord being built.
Edinburgh Gateway's long-term job is to serve the ever-growing western district, with the thousands of homes, offices and attractions that will spring up over the next few decades. It isn't a white elephant as some claim, and is actually a rare instance of future proofing that many on this forum clamber for.
It's inevitably a trade-off between decarbonising people's journeys to the airport and discouraging aviation; in reality we see in most places that limited public transport to airports has negligible effects on passenger numbers from the airport. In extreme (and I don't think this is at all likely) one might imagine selling this (politically) as part of an expansion of Edinburgh Airport while closing Glasgow Airport, thereby focusing aviation traffic on a single airport and allowing larger, more efficient aircraft to be used.

My objection to Edinburgh Gateway in many ways is whether the benefit from it is substantial enough versus an expansion of the nearby South Gyle. Maybe the connection with the tram is enough, but neither integrate particularly well with Edinburgh's public transport system as a whole (as neither have any real bus connections, which still provide connectivity on the majority of routes). I definitely won't call it a totally pointless development (the future proofing arguments are certainly there), but the airport link was a significant part of its justification which I think may make it a harder sell to make that part of it gratuitous until there is further development in the area.
 

route101

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My apologies my sources tell me it may be a couple of years before work on the ground starts on the Dunblane to Perth wiring and the current thoughts on the signalling is to retain most of the present signal boxes and install 3 aspect colour lights. Presently high up the agenda are the electrification islands at Thornton and Tweedbank.
How long do we reckon work starts on East Kilbride wiring?
 

mcmad

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How long do we reckon work starts on East Kilbride wiring?
The actual wiring? Probably 1-2 years at least, there is a lot of enabling works to be done first with some tricky bridges to negotiate, particularly between Muirhouse and Busby Junction itself.

From what I heard from the track engineers, there are real issues with the way the paisley canal line was electrified and that line is likely to need some lengthy closures in the next few years to go back in and do a proper job around some of the bridges.
 

Philip Phlopp

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How long do we reckon work starts on East Kilbride wiring?
It's already underway, but there's much work to be done before there will be much evidence of electrification.

There's a list of various structures needing attention and planning work is, I believe, underway (both within Network Rail, and with the local authorities, utilities and HES) to work out the clearance options. I believe the old Strathbungo station building is up for demolition in the near future too.

The actual wiring? Probably 1-2 years at least, there is a lot of enabling works to be done first with some tricky bridges to negotiate, particularly between Muirhouse and Busby Junction itself.

From what I heard from the track engineers, there are real issues with the way the paisley canal line was electrified and that line is likely to need some lengthy closures in the next few years to go back in and do a proper job around some of the bridges.
The Paisley Canal scheme is sort of fine 'as is' but almost every possible corner that could be cut was cut, it was only ever electrically cleared for EMU stock with the contact wire is 135mm lower than normal. There's also physical (but not electrical) clearance for W7 stock, which means any diesel locomotives hauling tanks to Hawkhead oil terminal (if they should ever return) need the OLE to be isolated, ditto for some on-track plant. It would be nice to get the electrification to current standards eventually.
 

NotATrainspott

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The Paisley Canal scheme is sort of fine 'as is' but almost every possible corner that could be cut was cut, it was only ever electrically cleared for EMU stock with the contact wire is 135mm lower than normal. There's also physical (but not electrical) clearance for W7 stock, which means any diesel locomotives hauling tanks to Hawkhead oil terminal (if they should ever return) need the OLE to be isolated, ditto for some on-track plant. It would be nice to get the electrification to current standards eventually.
I wouldn't be surprised if the Paisley Canal line gets rebuilt in future to provide proper doubling and platform lengths. It was reopened to run a shuttle DMU service, but I think future demands might require it to be reopened as a through route to Elderslie with double tracking. The modern platforms are set up for the single line, so they'd almost certainly need to be rebuilt to provide double track.
 

Class 170101

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I wouldn't be surprised if the Paisley Canal line gets rebuilt in future to provide proper doubling and platform lengths. It was reopened to run a shuttle DMU service, but I think future demands might require it to be reopened as a through route to Elderslie with double tracking. The modern platforms are set up for the single line, so they'd almost certainly need to be rebuilt to provide double track.
But can you do that I thought Paisley Canal was blocked in by development now?
 

NotATrainspott

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But can you do that I thought Paisley Canal was blocked in by development now?
Compulsory purchase was done for Airdrie-Bathgate. It can and will be done whenever there is a genuine transport need. It looks like most or all of the Castle Gait housing estate will need to be demolished since most of the houses are in the way of a reopened double track and cycle path formation. I'm sure NR could sell off the remaining land after construction for some higher-density flats to recoup some costs, as they'd be in the perfect spot for commuting into Glasgow.
 

Rick1984

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The only line it is questionable on is Stranraer but I doubt it makes sense to introduce a new type of stock for it alone (though there might be political benefits in introducing a fleet purely for it with a depot somewhere near Girvan or Stranraer).
The Girvan to Stranraer line is very scenic, up there with the WHL in my opinion. While using fixed length scenic stock may be overkill I think the interchangeability would be worth it rather than a small dedicated fleet.

No decision has been made on the technology to be used but the PRT proposal has been officially dropped as it’s not something which could be extended to the city centre.
That's a shame as PRT provides the best step free access for people with luggage gaining access to airports. Even being able to take luggage trolley on them
 

edwin_m

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That's a shame as PRT provides the best step free access for people with luggage gaining access to airports. Even being able to take luggage trolley on them
The vehicles are car-sized so it's like travelling in a taxi with luggage wedged between the seats. An automated shuttle provides much more floor space, that can be used for standing instead when necessary, whereas it would mostly be wasted in a larger PRT vehicle where the assumption is that people wouldn't share with strangers. Trams also offer level boarding and the interiors can include luggage space if necessary.
 
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NotATrainspott

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The Girvan to Stranraer line is very scenic, up there with the WHL in my opinion. While using fixed length scenic stock may be overkill I think the interchangeability would be worth it rather than a small dedicated fleet.
I think the scenic train will be about 70m (~3x23m) long with end corridor connections. The WHL is limited to 6x23m, so this would permit double units and splitting.

With a new fleet, I think extra capacity will come from adding extra frequency. The 2043 Route Study has 1tph to Crianlarich (16tpd) splitting into 1tp2h to Oban (8tpd) and the same to Fort William, then 6tpd to Mallaig. Each train could be only 70m long and it would represent a huge boost to capacity.

The challenge for ScotRail is to find a way to boost passenger numbers in the off season because the seasonal tourist routes will no longer share rolling stock with commuter ones. 156s off the WHL could be used to run extra capacity in winter, or allow more heavy maintenance to be done. Even with just 1:1 replacement any new scenic train fleet won't be able to do that to any great extent.
 

edwin_m

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The challenge for ScotRail is to find a way to boost passenger numbers in the off season because the seasonal tourist routes will no longer share rolling stock with commuter ones. 156s off the WHL could be used to run extra capacity in winter, or allow more heavy maintenance to be done. Even with just 1:1 replacement any new scenic train fleet won't be able to do that to any great extent.
Nor will any other train, if as planned everything other than the "scenic" routes is electrified, unless there are some bi-modes that don't use their self-powered capability for most of the time.
 

Philip Phlopp

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Nor will any other train, if as planned everything other than the "scenic" routes is electrified, unless there are some bi-modes that don't use their self-powered capability for most of the time.
It depends, we know the 'scenic' rolling stock will be in some way quite highly bespoke with its self powered traction system, but it doesn't mean it can't be compatible with the 'commuter' or 'intercity' rolling stock ScotRail will also need to procure as part of the electrification strategy.
 

Altnabreac

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It depends, we know the 'scenic' rolling stock will be in some way quite highly bespoke with its self powered traction system, but it doesn't mean it can't be compatible with the 'commuter' or 'intercity' rolling stock ScotRail will also need to procure as part of the electrification strategy.
In that way for me a battery EMU that can operate and charge under the wires is probably more flexible than a Hydrogen based unit that is purely self powered and can't be deployed to other depots without the expensive hydrogen feeling systems.
 

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