Costs soar on another two Scots rail projects

A ScotRail train (PA)
A ScotRail train (PA)

THE costs of two more flagship rail projects in Scotland have soared.

A Sunday Post investigation earlier this month revealed works on lines between Edinburgh and Glasgow, and Aberdeen to Inverness, were tens of millions of pounds over budget.

Now it’s been confirmed that electrification work on the Stirling, Alloa and Dunblane lines, as well as a 46-mile section of the Shotts line, is currently 50% over budget.

The Office of Rail and Road confirmed it had launched an investigation into the budget overruns, blamed on poor design and extra costs of meeting safety legislation.

Scottish Labour transport spokesman Neil Bibby said: “Rail passengers have had to endure a summer of delays and disruption, and the chaos is continuing following the fiasco with the Edinburgh-to-Glasgow electrification programme.

“Now we discover two more flagship projects have soared above budget. Exasperated passengers will be astonished to discover that original costs were not ‘robust’ enough.”

The electrification of the Stirling, Alloa and Dunblane lines in central Scotland is meant to be delivered by December, 2018.

But independent regulator the Office of Rail and Road revealed “costs are more than previously expected” and Network Rail is reviewing the scheme.

A 46-mile section of the Shotts line, between the Holytown and Mid Calder junctions, is due to be completed by 2019.

However, the ORR has revealed its costs, “have proven not to be robust as the design was not adequately determined and has been affected by compliance issues similar to those associated with the Edinburgh-Glasgow electrification”.

Individual costs for both schemes have never been published but both are part of an overall the £742 million electrification work on rail lines between Glasgow and Edinburgh.

A Transport Scotland spokesman said the Scottish Government was “deeply frustrated by Network Rail’s inability to deliver these vital projects to agreed budgets” and had “instructed an intensive review of the major rail projects being delivered by Network Rail.”

A ScotRail Alliance spokesman said: “The timescales for completion of the Shotts and Stirling-Dunblane-Alloa projects remain unchanged and we are currently reviewing the delivery and costs of our enhancement programme.”


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