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Airport rail link two years late and much more expensive

26.12.08

The Glasgow Airport rail link is now not expected to be completed until 2013 - just a year before the Commonwealth Games in the city, the Scotsman reports that the Scottish Government's Transport Scotland agency has admitted. The link, enabling passengers to travel direct between the airport and city centre, is also now expected to cost £454 million, up from original estimates of £247 million.

The project is now being combined with separate signalling work to save money and reduce disruption to passengers. Even so, Network Rail said estimates of the cost of the signalling upgrade put it at only around £60 million, meaning the rail link is now estimated to cost almost £400 million.

The rail link helped win Glasgow the games. Four trains an hour will take 16 minutes to reach Glasgow Central station, with one stop in Paisley. The link was originally due to be completed in 2010, but was postponed last year to 2011 so it could be combined with signalling work on the main line to avoid unnecessary disruption for passengers.

A rail expert told The Scotsman the latest delay brought the project 'perilously close' to the Commonwealth Games, since the potential for further hold-ups remained.

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