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UK rail infrastructure operator Network Rail has contracted Siemens for a £16m signalling enhancement on Scotland’s Edinburgh and Fife route.

The upgrade will increase train speeds, improve reliability on the route and create additional capacity on the lines serving key commuter routes into Fife and beyond.

Scotland Transport Minister Derek Mackay said: "Scotland’s railways are in the midst of a renewed golden age and these signalling upgrades will see sympathetic improvements to one of our most world-famous landmarks, which draws tourists from around the world, as well as carrying daily commuters.

"We need to continually invest in our infrastructure to meet the needs of today’s businesses and commuters."

"The Scottish Government is currently investing £5bn in ensuring our railways and train services continue on this path of increased patronage, as this will support growth in our economy, as well as modal shift from roads use to increase our carbon efficiency."

Under the contract, the company will replace the existing three-aspect signalling on the Fife lines between Haymarket and Dalmeny with continuous four-aspect signalling and deployment of six new signals on the Forth Bridge.

Additionally, the project will include works related to interlockings, power systems and telecoms along the line between Haymarket and the bridge.

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Work on the project will be completed later this year.

Network Rail Scotland route managing director David Dickson said: "Rail travel is more popular now than ever before and we need to continually invest in our infrastructure to meet the needs of today’s businesses and commuters."

Siemens will carry out the signalling enhancement works as part of the Edinburgh-Glasgow Improvement Programme (EGIP), which is a £742m Scottish Government-funded investment to deliver a rolling programme of electrification.

Image: Siemens to upgrade signalling on the route between Edinburgh and Fife, over the Forth Bridge. Photo: courtesy of Network Rail.