Edinburgh-Glasgow electrification facing seven-month delay

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    Network Rail has told the Scottish Government that the electrification of the line between Edinburgh and Glasgow won’t be completed until July 2017 – seven months later than planned.

    The delay will have a knock on effect on the £742 million budget for the project, confirmed Transport Minister Humza Yousaf, who said he was “concerned and disappointed” that the schedule had slipped.

    Yousaf said in a statement: “I am very concerned and disappointed with Network Rail’s latest programme assessment for Scotland, which identifies significant risk of not meeting  previously committed delivery milestones and increasing cost estimates.”

    Scotland’s Transport Minister said there had been “evidence of poor management of contractors” on the EGIP scheme, as well as issues with planning and cost estimates – a shortcoming identified in Sir Peter Hendy’s review and more recently by the ORR in its annual review of Network Rail.

    Yousaf announced that a review will now be conducted by Transport Scotland, assisted by the Scottish Futures Trust. The findings of the review will be announced in September.

    Yousaf added: “I am not prepared to simply accept the long-term cost implications, nor the revised programmes that Network Rail have set out.

    “I will also be doing everything possible to ensure that Network Rail deliver the full programme in Scotland by March 2019 and without any extra funding from the Scottish Government.”

    Electric services using new Hitachi-built Class 385 EMUs are expected to begin as planned in December 2017.

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