CLAIMS that electrification and other improvements to the Glasgow-Edinburgh rail link face a three-year delay have been dismissed by the Government.

Sources reportedly said work due for completion by the end of 2016 would not happen until 2019.

But a spokeswoman for Transport Scotland said: "Any suggestion that the Edinburgh Glasgow Improvement Programme is delayed by three years is nonsense."

She claimed this was based on a misunderstanding, as EGIP formed part of the overall High Level Output Specification announced last year, a wider set of improvements that are scheduled for completion in 2019.

She added: "The first phase of the scheme will see electrified services introduced on the Cumbernauld line in time for the Commonwealth Games in 2014, and EGIP electrified services will be introduced into the December 2016 timetable.

"Decisions regarding the timing and specification of future phases will take account of our proposals to take forward planning for a high-speed rail link between Edinburgh and Glasgow, a link that will bring knock-on benefits for the rest of the rail network in the central belt.

"It is only right and proper that we consider this along with wider capacity and demand requirements of our rail network."

One of the areas of industry concern was said to be the need to extend platforms at Queen Street Station, which could involve demolishing part of a hotel, while another issue was work on the Winchburgh tunnel in West Lothian.

Transport Scotland added: "We are working closely with Network Rail and Buchanan Galleries to agree a delivery programme for the EGIP improvements at Glasgow Queen Street.

"We have also asked Network Rail to develop a track Access Strategy for EGIP that minimises disruption for the travelling public."