Latest Rail News

16.02.16

Lamington Viaduct to open ahead of schedule after engineers save it from collapse

The flood-damaged Lamington Viaduct has been successfully saved from collapsing and will be open to trains ahead of schedule.

ScotRail Alliance confirmed that a seven-week engineering project had been successful and the viaduct, which crosses the River Clyde about 10 miles south of Carstairs on the West Coast Main Line, will re-open on 22 February.

The viaduct was closed at the beginning of January after Storm Frank weakened one of its piers. Further inspection after engineers stabilised the structure revealed that another pier had been damaged by persistent bad weather and high water levels, leading to predictions that the viaduct wouldn’t open until early March.

Phil Verster, ScotRail Alliance managing director, said: “I am delighted that we have managed to complete the works at Lamington ahead of schedule.

“I understand the impact the closure of Lamington Viaduct has had on customers and our engineers have been working around-the-clock since its closure to finish the repairs and get trains back on the West Coast Mainline.

“This project has been a hugely challenging one - involving working out in the Clyde through the worst of January's storms in a race against time to save the structure. Our engineers have faced atrocious conditions throughout this project and I am really proud of their hard work and their absolute commitment to getting the line open again.

“I really do want to thank customers for their patience and our industry partners for the close cooperation shown over the last two months. By working together we have been able to help limit disruption for passengers by providing diversionary routes for many of the affected services.”

Engineers were able to accelerate the repairs thanks to better-than-expected weather and the early arrival of some custom-made steel bearings, which they used to replace the damaged ones on the pier to support the bridge-deck and track.

They also constructed a new concrete plinth on top of the pier and successfully raised the bridge-deck into position last week.

A non-load-bearing section of the viaduct’s third pier also needs to be repaired, and engineers widened the banks of the Clyde to divert the river away from the south side to the north side.

Phil Bearpark, Virgin Trains’ executive director of operations and projects, said: ““We would like to thank our customers for their continued support and understanding, whilst the necessary repairs to Lamington Viaduct have been undertaken. It will be great to begin operating direct services to and from Edinburgh and Glasgow again and we look forward to welcoming our customers on board soon.”

First TransPennine Express interim managing director Liz Collins added that this disruption has been a difficult time for “customers and our colleagues and we are grateful for their patience”.

“Throughout the disruption we have been working hard with our industry partners to make sure customers can continue their journeys in and out of Scotland and this will continue while the final repair works are carried out,” she said.

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