The scheme has been developed by Transport Scotland and Network Rail and will pass through East Renfrewshire and South Lanarkshire to the south of Glasgow. It will support both passenger and freight services and will be used as a key diversionary route for cross-border services. Construction work is due to be complete by December 2023.
The East Kilbride corridor has recently been given approval for single track electrification infrastructure, though further development work is required.
Transport Scotland said that the projects are being taken forward in the face of the significant financial challenges, and in light of uncertain future demand. It said that by progressing with single track this allows funds to be reallocated to other decarbonisation projects such as Borders electrification.
Transport minister Graeme Dey said: “I’m pleased that work on the full electrification of the Glasgow to Barrhead railway line is expected to start early next year as this will make a significant difference to passenger and freight services in the future.
“Delivery of the East Kilbride and Barrhead Electrification Project will not only ensure the decarbonisation of two critical corridors on this strategic network but will allow efficiencies to be achieved and disruption minimised for passengers during this period.
“It will also help towards the delivery of our Rail Decarbonisation Action Plan which will see removal of all diesel on passenger services by 2035 through the deployment of existing rolling stock.”
Katie Vollbracht of Network Rail Scotland said: “The East Kilbride and Barrhead Electrification Project is at the centre of our plans to decarbonise domestic passenger services by 2035.
“The project will deliver high-quality public transport choices for passengers through the introduction of greener, more reliable electric trains, with improved stations and passenger facilities along the two routes.
“We are working closely with government and our industry partners to ensure the enhancements we are making deliver best value for taxpayers’ money and meet the changing needs of our customers.”