Austrian technology on British soil
The connection between the two Scottish cities, along which 20,000 passengers travel every day, is one of the busiest lines in Great Britain. The section, which was opened in 1842, is undergoing electrification as part of the "Edinburgh Glasgow Improvement Project" (EGIP); in addition, some parts – including the tunnel dating from 1842 – will be renewed and equipped with new track. This is where the "ÖBB-Porr" slab track system developed by the Austrian Federal Railway (ÖBB) and A. Porr will be used on the island for the second time following its successful first use and test in England by Rhomberg Sersa in the previous year. The work is carried out as part of a sub-alliance partnership with Babcock. The modification will lead to a significant reduction in the cost of track maintenance; in addition the tunnel can now be traversed at 145 km/h instead of the previous 130 km/h. The usually problematic transition from ballast to slab track was resolved by installing the V-TRAS transition module by Rhomberg Sersa.
The "ÖBB-Porr" system was used for the first time in Austria in 1992 and has been the standard system for slab track in Austria since 1995. Since 2001 it has also been widely used in Germany. Up to now, a total of 580 km of track has been constructed using this system.
And that was not all
A few additional metres will be built in Britain as well: the tunnel at the Queen Street railway station will be modernised next year as part of the EGIP project. The plan is to bring it up to date within 20 weeks. The Austrian "ÖBB-Porr" slab track system and the V-TRAS transition module by Rhomberg Sersa will also be used for this construction.