Carstairs community can find out more about junction remodelling

With a three-month programme of work set to get underway at Carstairs Junction, local residents are being invited to a public drop-in.

Carstairs Aerial
Carstairs Aerial

The event will take place between 4pm and 6.15pm on Wednesday 1st March at Carstairs Community Centre on School Road.

Members of the project team will be on hand to answer questions and provide information about the three-month programme of work, which is set to get underway next month.

The line will be closed through the junction from March 4 for 16 days and engineers will be working around the clock to maximise the access to this key asset on the West Coast main line.

It will be a particularly intense and potentially disruptive period for those living lineside and Network Rail is encouraging residents to speak directly to the project team at the drop-in.

Jim McCleary, Network Rail’s project manager for the said: “Work has been ongoing at Carstairs since early 2021 but the phase we are about to enter is particularly intensive - working around the clock for an extended period of time.

“With this in mind, it’s important to highlight this to the local community and to offer them the opportunity to meet the people delivering the work and to ask any questions directly to the team.

“Carstairs is a critical junction on West Coast main line and taking the decision to close it is a major step for the whole rail industry and because of this we have to maximise every minute of the closure to progress the work.

Carstairs graphic
Carstairs graphic

“While this is right for the railway, we understand that it is a big imposition on the local community and we ask them for their patience and understanding as we carry out this massive investment in Scotland’s railway.”

Work on this strategically important route will be complex and Network Rail will work both day and night to complete it in three phases designed to manage the effect on services in the least disruptive way.

Engineers will simplify and upgrade the track layout to clear an existing bottleneck on the network, making it more reliable and better able to cope with passenger and freight demands.

It will also see the creation of Scotland’s largest freight loop, capable of accommodating 775m-long freight trains to help more businesses move goods off the road and onto rail to help achieve the Government’s Net Zero targets.

Disruption information

Phase 1- Saturday March 4 and Sunday March 19, there will be no direct services to Glasgow Central and Edinburgh on the West Coast main line through Carstairs.

Phase 2 - Monday March 20 and Friday April 21, will see part of the junction re-opening, allowing some trains to run directly to Edinburgh – and via diversion routes to Glasgow – on weekdays, however, journey times will be longer than normal.

Phase 3 - Saturday April 22 and Sunday June 4, will see most services return to normal during weekdays with the junction fully closed each weekend.

During the later phases of the project, there will be no direct services between Glasgow Central or Edinburgh and Carlisle on the West Coast main line each weekend.

The closure of the junction will affect cross-border operators including, Avanti West Coast, Caledonian Sleeper, CrossCountry Trains, London North Eastern Railway and TransPennine Express, who will be operating via diversionary routes or offering alternative journey options during this time.

Services operating on the East Coast main line during this time are also likely to be busier than normal.

There will be no ScotRail services to or from Carstairs for the full three-month period. ScotRail will run a range of alternative journey options throughout with Carstairs station re-opening on Tuesday May 30.