The Challenge

The Edinburgh Glasgow Rail Improvement Programme (EGIP) is a comprehensive programme of improvements to Scotland’s railway infrastructure, rolling stock and service provision. It includes the widespread electrification of the railway network.

The programme will deliver a 20% reduction in journey times and 30% more capacity within four years, as well as more comfortable, efficient and reliable trains.

There are a number of challenges related to the design of the overhead line electrification (OLE) for EGIP. It must be accommodated within the existing 150-year-old rail infrastructure, the project timescale is tight, and it involves new technology, Series 2 OLE.

We’re sometimes working up against the perimeter walls. Working out how you put foundations in right next to them, and then how you install the steelwork, requires clever engineering.

Colin Preston, Project Director, SYSTRA


We were appointed to undertake outline and detailed design work for OLE and power supply for the electrification of the line between Cumbernauld and Greenhill Lower; the re-modelling of Glasgow Queen Street throat; and platform extensions for Queens Street Station, Waverley Station, core intermediate stations and the entire Glasgow to Edinburgh route via Falkirk High.

Our client’s team is responsible for the installation of the electrification including OLE, foundations, structure, catenary, feeder stations and SCADA (supervisory control and data acquisition). SYSTRA’s scope of work includes design for the overhead line catenary system, elements of the power supply, and civil works related to overhead lines and switching stations.

We were able to offer a competent and local resource which provided the ability to react quickly, while delivering good value.