Carstairs Modernisation

Carstairs Modernisation

When complete the track, signalling and overhead electrification equipment will be in modern form making it more reliable and easier to operate and maintain.

As part of a multi-billion-pound investment to improve Scotland’s Railway, we have commenced major improvement work to the railway in Carstairs.

Carstairs Junction is a key section of the West Coast Mainline linking Glasgow and Edinburgh to London.

This work will include re-configuring and renewing the existing track, along with associated signals and overhead lines

There will also be improvements to Carstairs Railway Station Platform

The entire project is due to be completed in 2023.

Project Timeline

  1. Work will take place continually over the next couple of years, but here are some of the key dates showing how the project will progress.
  2. January 2021 – Construction of three site compounds, initial survey work, and commencement of railway work - including the installation of masts for new overhead lines
  3. Summer 2022 – Commencement of track renewals and overhead line installation work.
  4. Spring 2023 – Commencement of station platform refurbishment work. Major track renewals and overhead line installation work.


Currently the line requires regular maintenance work and speed restrictions are often imposed which have a detrimental impact on passengers’ journeys and operational performance.

Focusing on making improvements to what matters most to passengers and freight users –the plans will target punctuality, reduction in overall journey times and improvement of infrastructure reliability.

What will change?

The renewed track, signalling and overhead electrification will improve punctuality, infrastructure reliability and line speeds on the west coast main line and on routes between Glasgow and Edinburgh via Carstairs. Our new flexible layout will also include a freight loop to accommodate longer trains.

What innovations will the project provide?

As part of the new railway infrastructure, we are building the biggest freight loop in Scotland. When complete this will be capable of holding a train 775 metres long.

Other modernisations to the junction include a new power supply which allows us to switch off the overhead lines remotely. As well as being more reliable, the remote access will allow us to carry out maintenance more efficiently and reduce the amount of time the railway is closed.