Published: 28th July 2015
The worst disruption for this year on the Edinburgh-Glasgow line is over with the completion of major work on Winchburgh Tunnel between Edinburgh and Linlithgow.
After six weeks and the completion of this £17 million tunnel work, the ScotRail Alliance involving Abellio and Network Rail is on target to electrify the main line between Edinburgh and Glasgow next year.
Journey times will be reduced and today’s diesel units will be replaced by new electric trains.
Scotland’s Transport Minister, Derek Mackay MSP, said: "Completion of the work at Winchburgh is a key milestone in the Edinburgh-Glasgow Improvement Project, which is a comprehensive programme of improvements to Scotland's rail network."
The managing director of the ScotRail Alliance, Phil Verster, said: "The on-time completion of a project of this size and complexity in just six weeks is a significant achievement for all of the engineers involved.
"It also demonstrates how, by working more closely together, the rail industry in Scotland can deliver vital enhancements to our network while also keeping passengers informed and on the move."
owever, another important phase of EGIP, the £742 million Edinburgh-Glasgow Improvement Project, will see further temporary changes to timetables for passengers. From 20 March to 8 August next year, the tunnel approaching the “High Level” platforms at Glasgow Queen Street station will be involved in major work to provide enough clearance for overhead electric wires.
Trains will be diverted while that work goes on. ScotRail services from Edinburgh are expected to go round an anti-clockwise loop via Anniesland to call at the “Low Level” station at Queen Street, before returning towards Edinburgh via Springburn, rejoining the normal route at Cowlairs. Other diversions will include trains from Alloa and Dunblane also calling at the “Low Level” platforms at Queen Street, while Aberdeen and Inverness trains are likely to be diverted to and from Glasgow Central on an alternative route. Full details will be available next year.
Meanwhile, services returned to normal as planned on 27 July after the successful clearance of Winchburgh Tunnel for electric trains. While that work was going on, some trains were diverted via Dalmeny while others, from and to the West, connected at Linlithgow with buses to and from Edinburgh. Many end-to-end passengers between Edinburgh and Glasgow used through trains on other routes.
From 2017, there will be about two years of work at the “High Level” section at Queen Street to lengthen platforms for longer electric trains.
The route, known to this day as “the E&G” after the original Edinburgh & Glasgow Railway company, opened between Haymarket on the West side of Edinburgh and Queen Street in Glasgow in 1842, being extended four years later to a station on the site later known as Edinburgh Waverley.
Intermediate stations served today by all end-to-end trains are at Haymarket and Falkirk High. Other main stations served by a range of these trains are at Linlithgow, Polmont and Croy.
Other trains call at other stations on the line, at Edinburgh Park, Lenzie and Bishopbriggs. Edinburgh/Dunblane trains diverge at Polmont. Trains via Bathgate and Airdrie diverge from the main Edinburgh line west of Edinburgh Park. Trains between Glasgow Queen Street and Alloa, Dunblane and the North through Stirling diverge at Greenhill Junction, between Croy and Falkirk High.