First Electric Train Completes Test Runs on Glasgow-Barrhead Line

Network Rail has announced that the first ScotRail electric train has completed test runs on the Glasgow-Barrhead line in Scotland.

This marks a significant milestone for the line’s 63.3 million GBP electrification project.

An electric train undergoing testing in Barrhead
An electric train undergoing testing in Barrhead

Between 7 and 8 November, the Class 380 completed test runs at speeds ranging from 15mph to 75mph along the newly electrified lines between Glasgow Central and Barrhead station.

Additional test trains will now run over the next few weeks ahead of the introduction of electric passenger services on the line in December.

Paul Reilly, Network Rail's senior programme manager, said:

“Running the test train on the Glasgow-Barrhead line is a major milestone for everyone involved in delivering this project over the last two years. The test train successfully demonstrated that the overhead equipment is operating as it should, ahead of ScotRail introducing Class 380 electric services for passengers on to the route in December.”

To pave the way for ScotRail’s electric trains, engineers have renewed 130 metres of track and installed more than 360 stanchions and structures, supporting more than 66,000 metres of overhead power lines along the route.

Major modifications have also been carried out on the line’s bridges, including the replacement of Nithsdale Road bridge at Strathbungo to create enough space for the new overhead lines.

In addition, work at Barrhead station has extended platform 3 by 9 metres to accommodate longer four-carriage electric trains.

David Simpson, ScotRail's service delivery director, said:

“This trial was a massive step towards the introduction of electric passenger trains on the recently electrified Barrhead line, and paves the way for more sustainable, eco-friendly journeys.

“The introduction of electric Class 380 trains on the Barrhead line will ensure that customers along the route benefit from a more comfortable and reliable service. We hope this will encourage more people to choose rail travel instead of using the car, particularly during our off-peak all day fares trial.”

The Glasgow-Barrhead line is the latest route to be electrified as part of the Scottish Government’s investment to decarbonise the railway. This transition will enable the introduction of Class 380 electric trains, which will offer an improved service for passengers while reducing noise and enhancing local air quality.

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