Latest Rail News


Battered Lamington Viaduct reopens ahead of schedule

The battered Lamington Viaduct, which had shut off a section of the West Coast Main Line about 10 miles south of Carstairs after extensive flooding damage, has been reopened to passenger and freight services ahead of time.

The viaduct, which stretches over the River Clyde and is a key route between Carlisle and Glasgow, was closed early this year after the devastating Storm Frank destabilised the structure of the piers to the point of near-collapse.

Engineers have been carrying out extensive works, including diverting the fast-flowing Clyde using over 7,000t of rock to dam part of the river after its floodwater destroyed much of the viaduct’s foundations.

They also had to build concrete supports around the damaged second pier and anchor it to the riverbed by using over 100 8m-long steel rods.

The unprecedented amount of damage meant Network Rail only expected the WCML section to open in early March, but engineers took advantage of a break in extreme weather conditions this month to carry out works. They were also surprised with the earlier than expected arrival of new, custom-made bearings to accelerate the recovery programme.

Phil Verster, managing director of  ScotRail Alliance, said: “I am delighted our engineers have been able to complete this vital job earlier than scheduled and get passengers back onto the WCML.

“I am very proud of the hard work and commitment of our engineers who have had to contend with extremely challenging conditions at Lamington – battling against the elements and clock to save this important structure from collapse.”

Rail minister Claire Perry MP, who visited the viaduct in January to see first-hand the scale of the challenge, praised the “dedicated” Network Rail team who worked “round-the-clock” to resolve the issue.

“We can now get rail customers and rail freight moving again on this vital cross-border rail link, which is the western backbone of the network,” she said. “Our record investment in the railways continues, along with regular maintenance and inspection, to ensure that they can withstand these unprecedented weather events.”

The first train over the newly-repaired viaduct was a north-bound Caledonian Sleeper service between London and Inverness at 3am. Virgin Trains and TransPennine Express services have also resumed over the course of this morning.

On-site works will continue in the weeks ahead to re-profile the river banks and re-shape the viaduct’s piers to further improve the flow of water through its structure.


There are no comments. Why not be the first?

Add your comment

Rail industry Focus

View all News


The challenge of completing Crossrail

05/07/2019The challenge of completing Crossrail

With a new plan now in place to deliver Crossrail, Hedley Ayres, National Audit Office manager, major projects and programmes, takes a look at ho... more >
Preparing the industry to deliver trains for the future

04/07/2019Preparing the industry to deliver trains for the future

The move to decarbonise the rail network involves shifting to cleaner modes of traction by 2050. David Clarke, technical director at the Railway ... more >

'the sleepers' blog

On the right track, Sulzer is awarded RISAS accreditation for Nottingham Service Centre

29/06/2020On the right track, Sulzer is awarded RISAS accreditation for Nottingham Service Centre

Following an independent audit, Sulzer’s Nottingham Service Centre has been accepted as part of the rail industry supplier approval scheme (RISAS). The accreditation reinforces the high-quality standards that are maintained by Sulzer’s... more >
read more blog posts from 'the sleeper' >


Andrew Haines, CE of Network Rail, tells BBC News his organisation could issue future rail franchises

24/06/2019Andrew Haines, CE of Network Rail, tells BBC News his organisation could issue future rail franchises

Andrew Haines, the Chief Executive of Network Rail, has told the Today programme on Radio 4's BBC’s flagship news programme that he would not rule out his organisation issuing future r... more >
Advancing the rail industry with management degree apprenticeships

08/05/2019Advancing the rail industry with management degree apprenticeships

In answering the pressing questions of how current and future generations of managers can provide solutions to high-profile infrastructure projects across the UK, Pearson Business School, part of... more >