Carstairs Modernisation

Carstairs Modernisation

When complete, the investment in Carstairs Junction will improve track, signalling and overhead electrification equipment to make it more reliable and easier to operate and maintain.

Investing to improve cross-border reliability

As part of a multi-billion-pound investment to improve Scotland’s Railway, we are delivering 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 includes 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 by spring 2024.

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 – Start of track renewals and overhead line installation work.
  4. Christmas / New Year 2022 - Track and overhead line works during festive line closure.
  5. Spring 2023 – Major track renewals and overhead line installation work.

Project Updates

  • 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.

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.