Edinburgh trains: Passengers warned of significant disruption on Edinburgh-Glasgow line due to rockfall prevention works

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Services will be disrupted for four days while critical safety works are carried out.

Passengers have been warned of significant disruption to services on the main Edinburgh-Glasgow railway line later this month, due to vital works to prevent rockfalls.

The four-day project, from January 29 until February 2 at the east of the old Ratho station will help prevent stones potentially falling from a 10m-high rock face above the line. Engineers will work around-the-clock to install specialist netting and rock anchors on the 100m-long rock cutting. Network Rail said the project, which is ‘vital’ to the safe and reliable running of the railway, will see works carried out as expected sub-zero temperatures could cause the condition of the cutting to deteriorate.

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ScotRail has issued essential travel only advice to rail Edinburgh-Glasgow rail users and warned of longer journey times on other routes including Bathgate, Linlithgow, Stirling, and Inverness. Rail chiefs said the works can’t be delivered without a short-term closure of the line as overhead power lines will need to be switched off while engineers carry out the work.


Liam Sumpter, Network Rail Scotland route director, said: “The work we are delivering is vital to the safe running of the railway and cannot be completed without a short closure of the line. We understand the inconvenience this project will cause to our customers and have put plans in place that deliver these improvements as quickly as possible. We thank passengers for their patience while we complete this safety-critical work.”

Phil Campbell, ScotRail customer operations director, said: “Due to these engineering works, there will be significant disruption to the services ScotRail can operate between Edinburgh and Glasgow, Bathgate, Linlithgow, Stirling, and Inverness. We understand the disruption this will cause to customers' journeys, but it is essential that Network Rail carries out these works.

“ScotRail’s advice to customers travelling between Edinburgh and Glasgow via Falkirk High or via Bathgate, and between Edinburgh and Dunblane, is that you should only travel if your journey is essential. Customers travelling between Inverness and Edinburgh should also be aware that journey times may be longer as those services are diverted via Fife. We are working hard to finalise plans to provide alternative travel and will communicate that to customers in the coming days.”

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Passengers have been urged to check their journey before travelling at National Rail Enquiries or with their individual train operator. Warrick Dent, safety and operations director at LNER, said: “We appreciate this vital engineering work will affect customers’ journeys and we thank them for their understanding. We advise customers to plan ahead and check for the latest information before travelling.”

Journey times between Linlithgow and Bathgate and Edinburgh will be at least 40 minutes longer via a rail replacement bus to Edinburgh Park and onward journey via tram to the city centre.

Passengers looking to travel directly between Edinburgh and Glasgow can use the routes Edinburgh-Glasgow Central via Shotts and Edinburgh-Glasgow Central via Carstairs. The services depart and terminate at Glasgow Central. There will be limited additional capacity and journey times are around 30 to 50 minutes longer compared to services via Falkirk High.

ScotRail are finalising plans to provide alternative travel and will communicate that to passengers in the coming days.

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