A major redevelopment of Glasgow Queen Street station moved closer to becoming a reality today as ministers granted Network Rail the powers it needs to carry out the transformation.
The announcement, although significant, isn’t a green light for the project to begin.
Network Rail has said it will now have to review the Transport and Works Scotland (TAWS) order issued by the government to see if it matches the scale and objectives of the original plans.
The works are predicted to take around 24 months to complete. However, the project is already running behind its original timetable as Network Rail had expected to receive the TAWS by summer/autumn 2016.
The cost of the works has previously been estimated at around £120 million. The project will include the redevelopment of the station concourse and south and west façades, and a new ticket office.
Separately, Network Rail has remodelled the track on the approach to the station and is lengthening all seven high-level platforms to accommodate new longer trains.
Next week, Balfour Beatty will begin extending platform 1. This will require the existing staff accommodation block to be demolished and relocated.
Humza Yousaf, Minister for Transport and the Islands said: “The Scottish Government is delivering the most ambitious programme of rail investment ever seen in Scotland, committing over £5 billion across the current funding period.
“Approval of this TAWS Order allows Network Rail to undertake significant enhancements to Glasgow Queen Street station.
“This continued investment in our key rail hubs will not only accommodate longer trains and the future growth in passenger numbers, it will also improve the overall service experience.
“Coupled with new longer, faster, greener Class 385 trains coming later this year and a full fleet refurbishment, we are doing what we can now to deliver a Scottish rail industry for the future, one which encourages even more people opt to get out their cars and onto trains.”