Scotland’s rail network is about to receive a major upgrade that will bring vital renovations to the Coatbridge junction, conducted via around-the-clock work from Network Rail engineers with a £2.2m budget.
For the first time since its conception, 50 years ago, Whifflet South junction, located between Coatbridge Freight Terminal, and Mossend/Eurocentral near Motherwell on the West Coast Mainline, will be receiving infrastructural upgrade works. Due to the complexity of the project, this will lead to forced closure of the railway between Coatbridge and Motherwell over the course of two weekends, between Saturday 20 to Sunday 21 and Saturday 27 to Sunday 28 August.
The renewal works for the junction will see the replacement of jointed rail, timber sleeper and worn-out ballast with strengthened track, concrete sleepers, and fresh stone. These upgrades will greatly enhance the reliability of the rail line whilst also reducing the further need for maintenance works on tracks and signalling equipment.
This route is key for rail freight haulage, with much of the line damages coming from decades of carrying heavy freight trains. The upcoming face lift will afford more availability for freight passage and a maximised line capacity that will aid in the decarbonisation of freight haulage across the UK. As the UK government have committed the country to achieve carbon net-zero by 2050, infrastructure investment projects that improve rail freight reliability must be a priority across the nation.
Eddie McLoone, Project Manager for Scotland’s Railway said:
“The £2.2 million investment in renewing Whifflet South junction is vital to keeping freight services flowing between Mossend and Coatbridge Freight Terminals and the rest of Scotland’s Railway.
“We know this work will cause some disruption, but such a vital upgrade can’t be delivered without closing the railway to allow our engineers access to the track.
“We would like to reassure freight customers and rail passengers that every effort has been made to reduce the impact of our activities as much as possible. Thank you for your understanding.”
No services will run through the junction during those weekends and ScotRail will operate replacement bus services between Motherwell and Rutherglen via Whifflet/Carmyle, and between Motherwell and Cumbernauld.
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