SCOTLAND’S transport minister has visited the site of the first feeder station commissioned as part of a £120 million investment to boost electricity supply into the railway network.
The Ferguslie feeder station, which will connect to the network in October, will support existing rail infrastructure as well as provide the additional electric power needed to support the future decarbonisation of the railway.
A further five feeder stations at strategic locations across the network will come as part of the investment, as well as nine site upgrades to increase the resilience and reliability of the infrastructure for the operation of electrically powered passenger and freight traffic.
With the feeder station installation and rail-side elements of the project ‘largely complete’ at Ferguslie, Network Rail said work to commission the site will shortly see Scottish Power Energy Networks (SPEN) install transformers to allow it to connect to the national grid.
Jenny Gilruth, transport minister, said, “It was great to be in Paisley today to meet the team and to hear more details about the work that will power newly electrified lines and also provides additional capacity to run more trains on the existing network.
“Upgrading the power supply network at this location will enable the introduction of electric trains on services to East Kilbride and Barrhead and this work will be replicated at five other locations across the central belt to support the Scottish Government’s railway decarbonisation programme. Our focus is on ensuring we can complete this work as quickly as possible as we work towards our net zero ambitions.
“We want a rail infrastructure for Scotland that helps to cut emissions, to provide sustainable transport for people and for freight, and which provides fair work and highly skilled employment opportunities. This project delivers greener travel options for people and for moving freight which will ultimately lead to the removal of many more vehicles from the roads in Scotland.”
Lesley Pringle, project manager for traction power at Network Rail, added, “The £120m investment from the Scottish Government for this programme is key to helping us meet our target to decarbonise Scotland’s railway by 2035.
“Ferguslie is the first of the new feeder stations to be commissioned and it will boost the electricity supply to the rail network enabling greener and more sustainable travel options when the electrification projects are complete. We are continuing to work hard alongside our contractors and partners to commission this facility in October with a further five new feeder stations coming online between now and 2026.”