On the right tracks; work sees major change at Cumbernauld train station

Written by Scott Campbell. Scott Campbell
Published at 19:00 on 18 May 2014.
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EGIP changes made over weekend. Pic: courtesy of Bill Henry.

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COMMUTERS heading to Cumbernauld train station tomorrow (Monday) will “certainly notice a few differences,” in what can only be described as an under-statement by Network Rail.

Over the past two days construction workers and engineers have been steaming ahead with works to ensure that the electrification of the new Springburn and Cumbernauld is matched by a brand-new train station building.

The works undertaken this weekend mean most of the work has now been completed at Cumbernauld train station, in South Carbrain – as part of the £650million Edinburgh to Glasgow Improvement Programme (EGIP).
Commuters will see changes tomorrow. Pic: copyright of @NetworkRailEGIP.

EGIP is a “comprehensive package of improvements to Scotland's railway infrastructure,” a spokesperson for the project explained.

“A Scottish Government priority, the £650m EGIP is being delivered by Network Rail and includes modernisation and upgrades to key junctions and infrastructure as well as widespread electrification of the Scottish rail network, including the main line between Edinburgh and Glasgow.”

As part of the project, Cumbernauld train station has had new overhead power lines installed, new tracks laid and a new station slotted into place overnight. 

“Work to electrify more than 50 route kilometres between Springburn and Cumbernauld will enable the introduction of electric multiple unit (EMU) services between Cumbernauld and Glasgow Queen Street. It is the first delivery phase of line electrification as part of the Edinburgh Glasgow Improvement Programme (EGIP),” the spokesperson added.

“Although it is largely referred to as between Springburn and Cumbernauld, the works also encompasses infill electrification of the triangle where it meets the Motherwell to Cumbernauld line near Gartsherrie.”

As part of the upgrade some 16 miles of newly electrified railway to enable faster, modern, cleaner and quieter trains will be or has already been installed, alongside new electric trains – which will need to be stabled, cleaned, serviced and maintained daily, in addition to almost 1,000 masts and 53 wire runs. 

Platform 1 at Cumbernauld train station – which is the platform for Glasgow and Motherwell services – will be extended by 2.7 metres, in a similar change to those being made at stations in Greenfaulds and Stepps.

The completion of the electrical works mean timetable changes – announced this month by ScotRail – for the Commonwealth Games, in Glasgow will not place any strain on infrastructure or commuters alike. 

Improvements have made a difference. Pic: copyright of @NetworkRailEGIP.

As we reported earlier this month, ScotRail confirmed that the changes for Glasgow 2014 will see their biggest-ever train timetable put into operation between July 21st and August 3rd – three days ahead of the Games starting, and ending on the day of the Games’ closing ceremony.

The service shake-up will see extra carriages and more frequent services provided until late at night – after 1am on some routes – to help journeys run as smoothly as possible for Games’ spectators and regular customers.

Commenting on the service improvements for Glasgow 2014, Steve Montgomery, ScotRail’s managing director, said: “We are absolutely committed to providing the best possible transport experience for spectators and our customers during this exciting event. We have been planning this timetable for almost two years – working with Games organisers, local authorities and industry partners to balance the needs of spectators and customers across Scotland.

“I’m confident that we’ll make best use of every train, station and stretch of track available during what will be an extremely busy time for Scotland’s transport networks.”

The work being undertaken at Cumbernauld train station means that commuters travelling from the area into Glasgow, by train, will be greeted with a brand-new IKEA-style station facility – which will be fitted out internally and opened in July. 

Taking to micro-blogging social media website Twitter, a spokesperson for EGIP declared: “Come Monday morning, @scotrail passengers will certainly notice a few differences as they arrive”. 

The spokesperson attached an image to their tweet which showed the magnitude of the changes that had been made to the station in less than 48 hours. 

The spokesperson added: “Over weekend we've also been installing new station building at #Cumbernauld to complement other work around Stn.”

“We say installing rather than building as station is modular and is assembled off site and positioned,” the project’s spokesperson explained, adding: “Modular design enables more efficient & less disruptive creation of station minimising inconvenience.”

Inside the "modular" station. Pic: copyright of @NetworkRailEGIP.

The spokesperson then announcing that the new station building could be opened by July, confirming that an “internal fit” of the new facility could now go ahead.

“And with building water tight, internal fit our can begin with a view to opening new building by July,” the spokesperson said. 
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