Flood-damaged Edinburgh to Glasgow railway line set to reopen

Thousands of gallons of water flowing from the breached canal bank washed away sections of track and damaged the embankment stretching along 300m of the railway line.

Thursday, 17th September 2020, 4:58 pm
Updated Thursday, 17th September 2020, 5:52 pm

The Edinburgh to Glasgow, via Falkirk High, railway line will soon reopen for passengers after being severely damaged during a bout of bad weather.

Engineers have been working around-the-clock to repair the line which was partially washed away near Polmont when the Union Canal burst its banks on Wednesday, August 12.

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Thousands of gallons of water flowing from the breached canal bank washed away sections of track and damaged the embankment stretching along 300m of the railway line.

Engineers have been working around-the-clock to repair the line which was partially washed away near Polmont when the Union Canal burst its banks on Wednesday, August 12.
Engineers have been working around-the-clock to repair the line which was partially washed away near Polmont when the Union Canal burst its banks on Wednesday, August 12.

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Network Rail confirmed the line will be opening and running from Monday, 21 September.

During the last six weeks, engineers have had to completely rebuild the foundations of the line, replacing over 15,000 tonnes of soil and stone beneath the track.

A kilometre of new double-track railway has also been laid consisting of more than 4,500 metres of new rails and 4,424 concrete sleepers along with 10,000 tonnes of new ballast requiring 27 engineering trains.

Over 3,000 metres of signalling cables have been re-laid and two new twin track overhead power gantries installed.

Michael Matheson, Cabinet Secretary for Transport, Infrastructure and Connectivity, said: “The scale of the challenge faced by those repairing the damage to this vital route was huge and that they have delivered this so promptly is testament to the hard work and dedication of staff across Scotland’s Railway.

“I’d like to thank everyone involved for enabling services to be restored for passengers sooner than first anticipated. I’d also like to thank rail users for their patience while this work was ongoing.

“It is clear that severe weather events will continue to have an impact on our transport networks in future years to come and that is why we are taking steps to add further resilience by making climate change mitigation a central theme of our National Transport Strategy.”

Liam Sumpter, Network Rail Scotland route director, said: “This line is a vital link between Scotland’s two biggest cities and our engineers and contractors have worked as quickly as possible to get our customers moving again on this key route.

“The damage caused by the floods on August 12 presented a massive challenge for our engineers who had to effectively rebuild a section of the line from the foundations up.

“I’d like to thank our customers for their understanding while we have been working to repair the line and we look forward to reopening the railway for them on Monday.”

Alex White, ScotRail Chief Operating Officer, said: “Network Rail’s engineers have done a terrific job in carrying out extensive repair work to the track and infrastructure, which will allow us to get trains on this vital route operating again from Monday.

“The unprecedented rainfall near Polmont last month had a severe impact on our ability to run services between Glasgow and Edinburgh, and we thank customers for their patience while repairs were carried out.”

ScotRail has been operating a rail shuttle service between Linlithgow and Edinburgh since Monday, 14 September, to keep customers moving while engineers carried out the extensive repair work.

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