The station currently handles 20 million passengers a year and this is expected to increase to 28 million by 2030. The station's platforms need to be extended to accommodate eight-car EMUs which are being introduced as part of the £742m Edinburgh - Glasgow Improvement Programme (Egip) to electrify the Glasgow Queen Street - Falkirk - Edinburgh line by the end of 2016. Hitachi Rail Europe is supplying a fleet of 70 class 385 EMUs which will be delivered by December 2018.
NR expects to award the Queen Street contract in autumn 2016. The work, which is due to be completed by 2019, involves demolition of buildings to create more space for passengers. The concourse will be reconstructed, entrances to the station improved, and a new ticket office and staff accommodation provided.
"This is further good progress in the delivery of Egip," says Mr Rodger Querns, Egip programme director. "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."