Carstairs Junction remodelling

Carstairs Junction remodelling

Major engineering works on West Coast main line 4th March - 4th June 2023. Visit National Rail enquiries for journey information.

Investing to improve cross-border reliability

We are delivering major improvement work to the railway junction at Carstairs as part of a Scottish Government investment of more than £160m .

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

Junction graphic

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

There will also be improvements to Carstairs station platform

The entire project is due to be completed by spring 2024.

Project Timeline

  1. January 2021 – Construction of three site compounds, initial survey work, and commencement of railway work - including the installation of masts for new overhead lines.
  2. Summer 2022 – Start of track renewals and overhead line installation work.
  3. Between the early hours of Saturday March 4 and early on the morning of Monday March 20, 2023 work will be both day and night across all sections of the Junction.
  4. Phase two of the work, taking place between Monday March 20 and Friday April 21, will see part of the junction re-opening, allowing some trains to run directly to Edinburgh on weekdays. Work will continue to be both day and night on some sections of the Junction weekdays and across all of the junction at weekends.
  5. The final phase, between Saturday April 22 and Sunday June 4, will see the line open during weekdays and fully closed each weekend and work on these weekends will be around the clock from Friday night until Monday morning. There will be no ScotRail services to or from Carstairs for the full three-month period from 4th March. ScotRail will run a range of alternative journey options throughout with Carstairs station re-opening on Tuesday May 30.

Possible Disruptions

  • Service information during Carstairs junction work 4th March to 4th June

    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.

Project Updates

  • 23 May - Project prepares to reopen Carstairs station

    Carstairs station is set to reopen to passengers on Tuesday May 30 following the successful completion of engineering work across the junction and at the station itself.

    You can read more about it here

    Carstairs platform works
    Carstairs platform works
  • 21 April - Direct weekday services resume on West Coast Mainline

    Direct weekday services between Glasgow and Carlisle will resume on Monday (April 24) following completion of the latest phase of the £164m project to upgrade Carstairs junction on the West Coast main line (WCML).

    You can read more about it here

    Carstairs gantry lift
    Carstairs gantry lift
  • 17 March - First phase of Carstairs Junction remodel nearing completion

    Passengers are being advised of changes to their journeys as the first phase of work to upgrade Carstairs Junction nears completion

    You can read more about it here

    Carstairs South aerial
    Carstairs South aerial
  • 15 Feb - Project prepares for significant phase of work

    Due to the scale of the work being delivered at Carstairs Junction, there will be some disruption to passenger and freight services on the West Coast main line between 4 March and 4 June.

    Junction Graphic

    Initially the line will be fully closed for 16 days. Following this there will be a period where services will operate via diversionary routes on week days with the Junction fully closed at weekends.

    The last phase of work will see normal operation on weekdays and full closure on weekends.

    We have worked with the train operators to plan this work and support altered service during the closure of the Junction.

    Carstairs junction
    Carstairs junction

    Details of your journey during this time can be found via or direct from your individual train operator.

    Key dates

    4 - 19 March - 16 day closure of the West Coast main line

    20 March - 21 April Part of the junction will reopen allowing some trains to run to Edinburgh on week-days only and via diversion routes to Glasgow with extended journey times.

    22 April - 4 June Services will operate normally weekdays but all lines will be fully closed each weekend.

    No services will run to/from Carstairs from 4 March until 30 May.

  • 13 Jan 2023 - Parking restrictions for Carstairs

    Avanti train going through Carstairs
    Avanti train going through Carstairs

    Residents of West View, Carstairs are being asked for their cooperation

    Parking restrictions will be in place on West View, #Carstairs on Saturday 14th January from 4pm and will run overnight until 8am on Sunday morning. This is to enable the movement of pre-cast track panels through the village on low loaders.

    A number of vehicles will be on the move between Lanark and Carstairs overnight carrying the panels before being off-loaded by crane and stored track-side in preparation for the significant Junction remodelling taking place from March.

    Deliveries and unloading will be ongoing overnight and we will do what we can to minimise noise and disruption.

    Thank you for your patience.


Carstairs junction is complex and requires regular maintenance work. Speed restrictions are often imposed which have a detrimental impact on passengers’ journeys and operational performance.

Carstairs OLE masts
Carstairs OLE masts

The investment focuses on making improvements to what matters most to passengers and freight users – targeting improvements in 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 to allow us to carry out maintenance more efficiently and reduce the amount of time the railway is closed.