Carillion Powerlines has won a £49m contract to deliver the electrification of UK Network Rail ’s Shotts line between Holytown and Midcalder Junctions in Scotland.

Under the contract, 74km of electrified railway will be delivered as part of a £160m investment by Scottish Government in the line between Scotland’s largest cities.

The contract will see the physical delivery of all elements such as erecting stanchions and stringing the overhead powerlines needed to electrify the line.

Network Rail programme management head Iain McFarlane said: “This contract is a significant milestone for the delivery of the Shotts electrification project and further underlines our commitment to investing in and enhancing our infrastructure as part of our UK-wide railway upgrade plan.

“Throughout this project, we will work closely with contractors, train operators and other stakeholders to deliver in the most efficient and cost-effective way possible while minimising disruption for both lineside communities and passengers.”

The work is planned to be carried out along with other work on various bridges as part of a route clearance programme to make sure that the power cables can run under structures on the line.

"Passengers will see shorter journey times, increased capacity and better reliability."

Once the work is complete in 2019, Carillion will introduce electric services on Edinburgh-Glasgow Central through Shotts to provide increased capacity for passengers.

Scotland Transport Minister Humza Yousaf said: “The Scottish Government’s funding of the electrification of the Shotts line, and our overall £5bn package of investment in our railway, demonstrates our ongoing commitment to the Scottish rail network.

“This work contributes to the transformation of services across the central belt as part of the wider package of investment to enhance rail travel between the country’s two biggest cities, meaning passengers will see shorter journey times, increased capacity and better reliability.”

Network Rail is on target to deliver the next phase of electrification of central Scotland’s railway network, between Holytown and Midcalder junctions. With this, the electrification of the Shotts line between Edinburgh and Glasgow will be completed by March 2019.

Image: Under the contract, 74km of electrified railway will be delivered. Photo: courtesy of Network Rail.