PREPARATORY work for the electrification of Barrhead’s railway line is underway.

Supporters say it will lead to quicker journey times, better connectivity, improved network capacity and substantial freight benefits, as higher power allows heavier trains to operate faster and at lower cost.

East Renfrewshire MP Kirsten Oswald has welcomed the project.

She told the Barrhead News: “I am delighted that the rail electrification projects are already underway on the Barrhead line.

“This investment will make a huge difference to passengers, delivering a greener and faster service, with more seats available at peak times.

“The plans to decarbonise Scotland’s rail passenger services by 2035 will make rail travel faster and more reliable, as well as making it a more environmentally-friendly way to travel.

“It is good to know that work on the rail lines has restarted after lockdown and I know that electrification is good news for commuters and other rail users from Barrhead to Busby and right across East Renfrewshire.”

Scottish Transport Secretary Michael Matheson said the electrification project will provide an economic boost.

He added: “While our Programme for Government commitment to publish our plans for decarbonising Scotland’s railways was rightly paused, I am now pleased we can share them.

“This is particularly important for the rail industry and its supply chain, who are keen to see projects progress.

“Building on our recent strong track record of delivering electrification projects, we have set out ambitious but achievable plans to decarbonise our rail passenger services by 2035 – five years ahead of the UK target.”

Alex Hynes, managing director of Scotland’s Railway, which is a collaboration of government and rail industry partners working together to improve services, stressed the importance of delivering a “cleaner, greener railway” for passengers.

He said: “Although rail is already a low-carbon mode of transport, we are committed to reducing our environmental impact ever further.

“The massive projects that have been delivered so far mean more seats and faster journeys for our customers, as well as a rail service that is better for our environment.”