One of Scotland’s most essential railway stations – Glasgow Queen Street – is due to undergo an extensive transformation after a £112m tender was issued for its rebuild. Once the tendering exercise is complete, the contract will be awarded in autumn this year.
Due for finalisation in 2019, the redevelopment will result in a landmark, modern station reflecting Queen Street’s role as a gateway to the vibrant city, and an important departure point for visitors travelling north and east.
Scotland’s third busiest station sees 20 million passengers a year and Glasgow Queen Street certainly needs to expand, in order to meet and facilitate for the predicted growth to 28 million passengers by 2030. In order to accommodate the faster, longer, greener electric trains that are being introduced to Scotland’s railway, it is vital that the station’s platforms and concourse be extended. This is due to the £742m Edinburgh-Glasgow Improvement Programme (EGIP).
The scheme will involve various developments including demolition of the Millennium Hotel’s 1970s extension above the station, as well as the demolition of Consort House; removal of the canopy over the footway in Dundas Street; redevelopment of the station concourse, south and west facades; and improved station entrances at Dundas Street and George Square. The project will also see new lighting and public address systems, a new ticket office and staff accommodation block, and the construction of extended platforms to accommodate eight-car trains.
Phil Verster, Managing Director of the ScotRail Alliance, commented:
“This is another tremendously exciting step forward in our plans to transform Scotland’s railway. We recently announced our largest ever Train Improvement Plan, which will deliver new trains, thousands of extra seats and great facilities such as at-seat power points and enhanced Wi-Fi across our fleet.
“Today we are confirming that one of our busiest and most important stations will also be transformed, making it larger and with much better facilities for our growing number of customers.
“Scotland’s railway is about more than running metal boxes up and down the tracks. We are all about using trains to connect people with jobs, businesses with customers and communities with more opportunities to grow and prosper. The changes we are making in the coming years will make sure that we have a modern fleet, running on improved infrastructure to and from world-class stations. That is a rail network we can all be proud of.”
With passenger numbers through Queen Street set to grow by nearly 10 million over the next 15 years, the project will provide a purpose-built facility with much more space and opportunity, to meet the requirements of 21st Century Scotland – while retaining the allure of the station’s Victorian character.
Rodger Querns, Programme Director for the Edinburgh Glasgow Improvement Programme, added:
“This is further good progress in the delivery of EGIP. We have already successfully completed a number of key elements of EGIP including the electrification of the Cumbernauld line and Haymarket station and are on the ground across the Edinburgh-Glasgow railway, preparing the line for electrification and building Edinburgh Gateway Interchange at Gogar; where we are also making good progress.
“We look forward to delivering this challenging, but exciting project that will realise huge improvements for passengers.”