What are the essential works and why are they needed?
The Edinburgh railway line, which connects Glasgow to the Scottish capital, will undergo essential works from Saturday, January 27 to Sunday, February 4. The works are part of a £113 million investment by Network Rail to improve the reliability and performance of the railway infrastructure.
The works will involve replacing and upgrading the signalling system, renewing track and overhead lines, and enhancing drainage and earthworks. These improvements will help reduce the risk of flooding, landslips, and track faults, as well as prepare the line for the introduction of new electric trains later this year.
How will the works affect the passengers and services?
The essential works will cause significant changes to the train services between Glasgow and Edinburgh, as well as other destinations in central and eastern Scotland. Passengers are advised to plan their journeys in advance and check the latest travel information before they travel.
Some of the main changes to the services are:
- No trains will run between Edinburgh Waverley and Haymarket stations from Saturday, January 27 to Sunday, February 4. A replacement bus service will operate between these stations, as well as Edinburgh Park and Edinburgh Gateway.
- Trains between Glasgow Queen Street and Edinburgh via Falkirk High will be diverted via Bathgate and will not call at Linlithgow, Polmont, or Falkirk High. A replacement bus service will operate between these stations.
- Trains between Glasgow Queen Street and Edinburgh via Cumbernauld and Falkirk Grahamston will be diverted via Airdrie and Bathgate and will not call at Croy, Falkirk Grahamston, or Linlithgow. A replacement bus service will operate between these stations.
- Trains between Glasgow Central and Edinburgh via Shotts will run as normal, but with reduced capacity and longer journey times.
- Trains between Glasgow Central and Edinburgh via Carstairs will run as normal, but with reduced frequency and longer journey times.
- Trains between Glasgow Central and Edinburgh via Motherwell will run as normal, but with reduced frequency and longer journey times.
- Trains between Glasgow and Stirling, Dunblane, Alloa, Perth, Dundee, Aberdeen, and Inverness will run as normal, but with reduced frequency and longer journey times.
- Trains between Edinburgh and North Berwick, Dunbar, Tweedbank, and Newcraighall will run as normal, but with reduced frequency and longer journey times.
What are the reactions and advice from the transport authorities and operators?
The transport authorities and operators have acknowledged the inconvenience and disruption caused by the essential works, but have also stressed the long-term benefits and the necessity of the works.
Alex Hynes, managing director of the ScotRail Alliance, which includes Network Rail Scotland and ScotRail, said: “These are vital works and we are doing everything we can to keep people moving during them. The work we are doing will deliver a more reliable, better railway for our customers. We are sorry for any disruption these works will cause and thank our customers for their patience during this time.”
Humza Yousaf, the Scottish Government’s Minister for Transport and the Islands, said: “These works are essential to the delivery of a more reliable railway for Scotland and will bring us a step closer to the introduction of a new fleet of electric trains. I appreciate that this will be a challenging time for passengers and I would urge everyone to plan their journeys in advance and leave extra time for travel.”
David Dickson, Network Rail Scotland’s infrastructure director, said: “We understand the inconvenience these works will cause to some passengers, but they are essential to the long-term resilience and reliability of the railway. We are working hard to minimise disruption as much as possible and to keep passengers informed of the changes to their services.”
Passengers can find more information and travel advice on the ScotRail website, the National Rail Enquiries website, or by following @ScotRail on Twitter.