THE first stage of the Stirling-Dunblane-Alloa electrification project is due to be completed later this month.

The ScotRail Alliance has said train services will return to normal timetables from Sunday, May 20, after the initial works have concluded.

Customers travelling between Glasgow/Edinburgh and Stirling/Dunblane/Alloa/Perth/Dundee have seen buses replace trains in the evening and at weekends since September 2016 while the improvements were carried out.

Wee County services returned to normal last month, following around four weeks of electrification works which saw Network Rail install overhead masts and power cables along the six-and-a-half-mile route between Alloa and Stirling.

Graham Heald, ScotRail Alliance head of customer experience, said: “This is an important milestone in the electrification of the route.

“We’d like to thank our customers for their patience over the past 19 months while we’ve progressed our plans to build the best railway Scotland’s ever had.

“Once complete, this work will deliver more seats, faster journeys and better services for our customers.”

The first section to be electrified as part of the Stirling-Dunblane-Alloa electrification project covers 26 single-track kilometres and includes Falkirk Grahamston and Camelon stations.

The remaining work to electrify the route will take place at night, when no trains are running, meaning there will be no further disruption to customers’ journeys.

Once complete in 2019, the electrification of the Stirling-Dunblane-Alloa line will see many services operated by electric Class 385 trains.

ScotRail say this will offer a better experience and reduce some journey times from Stirling to Glasgow and Edinburgh and anticipate there will be more seats on services between Alloa, Dunblane, Bridge of Allan, Stirling and Edinburgh. The company insists there will also be less noise and better air quality for those who live and work near the railway.

The work is part of the Scottish Government’s programme of rail electrification.

Network Rail had been tasked with delivering the improvements on the line from Alloa to Glasgow, among other areas, since November 2016.