The tendering process has begun for the electrification of the busiest rail route in Scotland - the Edinburgh Waverley-Glasgow Queen Street line.
The £400m Network Rail project is part of the Scottish Government’s £650m Edinburgh-Glasgow improvement programme that will cut journey times and increase capacity on trains.
The rail upgrade includes 156 single track kilometres of electrification work, remodelling and platform extensions at Waverley, Queen Street, Falkirk High, Polmont and Linlithgow.
Contracts will be awarded in early 2014 with construction beginning next summer. The main electrification works are estimated to finish in 2016.
Transport minister Keith Brown said: “The electrification of our busiest route will deliver significant improvements in rail journey times and train capacity. EGIP represents a £650 million investment in Scotland’s railway, creating hundreds of jobs, providing a major boost to the wealth of Scotland and its long-term economic sustainability.”
David Simpson, Network Rail route managing director, added: “The EGIP programme is a unique chance to modernise and enhance our railway and transform rail services across the central belt.”
A new Edinburgh Gateway interchange station will also be constructed at Gogar, and a new depot created at Millerhill in Edinburgh.