Track upgrade works at the Carstairs Junction are currently nearing completion for the initial phase of the £164m modernisation project, with passengers being advised of changes to their journeys.
Following a 16-day closure of the West Coast main line, the second phase of the project will re-open a segment of the junction, allowing trains to run directly to Edinburgh – and via diversion routes to Glasgow – on weekdays.
During this 16-day period, engineering work was primarily focused on the completion of the south junction, seeing the installation and upgrade works of the track, signalling and overhead line equipment. The engineers have worked to clear an existing bottleneck on the network, thus improving reliability to cope with increasing passenger and freight demands.
The three-month programme will see trains diverted and journey-times extended on services between Glasgow/Edinburgh and Carlisle until June. The staggered approach to this project is accommodating the complexity of the works, whilst minimising disruptive effects to services.
Jim McCleary, Network Rail’s programme manager for the Carstairs Junction remodelling project said:
“Although the weather has been challenging, work has been progressing well. As we near the end of the first stage of work, we have delivered new track, signalling and overhead lines all across the junction.
“Delivering work in the southern section enables the first section of the new layout to re-open and from Monday (March 20) passenger and freight services will begin to again run to Edinburgh and will also enable an alternative diversionary route for services to Glasgow.
“There is no pause for the team however and the next stage of work focuses on the West Coast main line section of the new layout, building it to be more resilient and reliable with the aim of reopening in late April.
“We are grateful for the support and cooperation of the travelling public and for the patience of the local community thus far as we deliver this massive investment our railway.
Carstairs junction’s closure directly impacts cross-border operators including Avanti West Coast, Caledonian Sleeper, CrossCountry Trains and TransPennine Express, who are using diversionary routes and offering alternative journey options during this time.
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