Scrapping the electrification and dualling of the East Kilbride to Glasgow rail line: FOI release

Information request and response under the Freedom of Information (Scotland) Act 2002

Information requested

As a person who has lived in EK since birth I was truly delighted at the prospect of Scotland's first new and successful new town being be brought into the 21st century. Some 74 years after its founding. I am at a loss to understand the rationale behind this decision. Especially if reports of the cash being diverted to the Borders are indeed true.

Would you please explain the rationale behind this decision and could I ask for sight of all the impact assessments in support of this decision.


Thank you for your recent request and I welcome your support for the recently announced substantial investment in upgrades to the East Kilbride line. I can confirm that the decision to proceed with the preferred electrification and station upgrade option was arrived at following an extensive joint railway industry business case development process in line with Scottish Government appraisal guidance.

It was decided that progressing with the full electrification of the mixed double and single-track infrastructure was the preferred option after analysis of the different costs and benefits set out in the Outline Business Case (OBC), which took full account of the anticipated demand for rail services on this corridor.

The significant station upgrades, accessibility improvements and passenger facilities are an important part of this investment, including a new and relocated Hairmyres station as part of a new multi-modal interchange hub.

The decision was taken with, and supported by rail industry partners, and the OBC was fully appraised in line with Scottish Transport Appraisal Guidance (STAG) and took account of ScotRail’s passenger count data (Pre Covid-19), anticipated demand (Post Covid-19) and constraining earthworks in the area, which combined to demonstrate that the electrification of mixed double and single track infrastructure is the optimal solution in light of changed travel patterns arising from the Covid-19 pandemic.

I am pleased to confirm, despite the significant financial pressures caused by Covid-19, that budget has been allocated for this preferred option.

The full electrification of the preferred option will realise the project objectives to offer passengers a sustainable travel option with improved performance from zero emission electric trains and will accommodate any anticipated future increase in demand. New platforms are being designed allowing more flexibility in train operation and to accommodate longer rolling stock.

Once the project is complete this will enable faster, quieter, greener trains with modern on board facilities, better layouts, increased passenger capacity, and improved passenger access to serve passengers and communities along this important route.

This overall investment will deliver significantly upgraded station interchange options which will help make rail services more attractive for passengers and encourage greater modal shift from roads on to a fully decarbonised rail corridor.

In terms of your request for “impact assessments” that support the decision, Transport Scotland do not hold documents that fit with your specific request. The supporting rationale for the decision to progress with the East Kilbride enhancements project was in fact set out in the OBC for the East Kilbride enhancements project; You may find it helpful to know that Transport Scotland is currently preparing the OBC for publication.

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Central Enquiry Unit
Phone: 0300 244 4000

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