Work to electrify Fife Circle Line begins

Network Rail will begin to lay foundations that will pave the way for the electrification of the Fife Circle by December 2024.

Electrification mast that will be used on the Fife Circle Line

Credit: Network Rail

A £55 million Scottish Government investment in the Fife Circle Line will see the railway transformed to accommodate quieter, more environmentally friendly electric trains. The first phase of work (see the bottom of the page for more details) between Haymarket and Dalmeny will see Network Rail pile the foundations for masts that will carry overhead wires up to the Forth Bridge. In total it will see 25 single track kilometres (STKs) of railway electrified by December 2024.

Subsequent phases of work will see ‘partial’ electrification of lines in Fife, totalling a further 104 STKs, to enable the introduction of Battery Electric Multiple Units (BEMUs) to replace life-expired diesel units which will be phased out. Contractors, Scottish Powerlines (SPL), will shortly begin on-site activities between Haymarket and Dalmeny, including piling and constructing steelwork foundations to support overhead power masts.

Credit: Network Rail – The four phases of Fife electrification

Electrification from Edinburgh into Fife represents the next phase of the rolling programme of electrification and part of the wider programme of decarbonisation which will build a cleaner, greener Scotland’s Railway.

“It is great news that the first phase of the Fife electrification project is getting underway as this will make a significant difference to passenger and freight services in the future,” Jenny Gilruth, Transport Minister for the Scottish Government, said. “Delivery of the Fife electrification project will support the introduction of new rolling stock through partial electrification of the route. It will also help towards the delivery of our Rail Decarbonisation Action Plan which will see removal of all diesel trains on passenger services by 2035.

“The development work also being progressed on Borders electrification and on procuring new rolling stock shows we are fully focussed on rail decarbonisation. Our commitment is securing jobs in the rail design and delivery sector, as well as providing a stream of work for the supply chain.”

“We’re working hard alongside the Scottish Government to bring the benefits of electrification to communities across Scotland,” Alex Hynes, Managing Director of Scotland’s Railway said. “The Government has set an ambitious target to decarbonise our railway and projects such as the electrification of the Fife Circle, starting with the line connecting Fife to Edinburgh, will be key to delivering on that commitment.

“We look forward to delivering further investment in Scotland’s Railway and significantly improving the quality of service for the communities it serves. This is one of a number of projects that will create an even greener, cleaner, and more reliable railway for Scotland.’’

Credit: Network Rail – Phase 1 of Fife electrification


RIA Scotland have welcomed the progress made on Fife Circle Line, believing it to be a key part of Scotland’s rail decarbonisation plan.

“This is an important step forward in delivering the Decarbonisation Strategy and Scotland’s ambitions to reach net zero, and will create skilled jobs and support economic growth,” Meirion Thomas, Chair of RIA Scotland, said. “It is really encouraging to see this investment coming forward and underlines the confidence in rail and the role it has in driving forward the Scottish Government’s agenda. RIA Scotland and our supply chain members are committed to supporting Scotland Railways’ decarbonisation journey and delivering both innovative and cost-effective solutions that benefit passengers, freight, and taxpayers. We hope to see railway decarbonisation accelerated even further in the months and years to come to ensure we meet our target of net zero passenger services by 2035.”