Monday 15 Feb 2016
West Coast Mainline to reopen Monday February 22
The ScotRail Alliance has today (Monday, February 15) confirmed train services will resume running over flood-damaged Lamington Viaduct on Monday, February 22.
Works to repair and reopen the viaduct, on the West Coast Mainline, are to finish ahead of schedule following an intensive seven week engineering project to save the vital structure from collapse.
The Victorian-built viaduct had been severely weakened and left close to falling into the River Clyde by flood damage caused by Storm Frank on New Year’s Eve.
The viaduct’s second pier was left on the brink of failure when floodwaters scoured out much of its foundations.
Phil Verster, Managing Director of the ScotRail Alliance, said: “I am delighted that we have managed to complete the works at Lamington ahead of schedule.
“I understand the impact the closure of Lamington Viaduct has had on customers and our engineers have been working around-the-clock since its closure to finish the repairs and get trains back on the West Coast Mainline.
“This project has been a hugely challenging one - involving working out in the Clyde through the worst of January's storms in a race against time to save the structure. Our engineers have faced atrocious conditions throughout this project and I am really proud of their hard work and their absolute commitment to getting the line open again.
“I really do want to thank customers for their patience and our industry partners for the close cooperation shown over the last two months. By working together we have been able to help limit disruption for passengers by providing diversionary routes for many of the affected services.”
Engineers had to work around-the-clock to divert the Clyde and stabilise the structure following Storm Frank.
The incident also damaged the second pier’s steel bearings, which support the bridge-deck and track above the pier, a non-load-bearing section of the viaduct’s third pier and the structure’s north abutment.
Over the weekend, engineers installed new steel bearings on the viaduct’s damaged second pier and constructed a new concrete plinth on the top of the pier to support them.
Having successfully raised the bridge-deck back into position last week, the recovery works are now progressing two weeks ahead of the March reopening date previously announced.
Engineers have taken advantage of a break in the weather conditions and the earlier than expected arrival of the new, custom-made, bearings to accelerate their recovery programme.
Phil Bearpark, Executive Director of Operations and Projects at Virgin Trains, said: “We’re really pleased that Network Rail has announced that the West Coast Mainline will re-open later this month, ahead of schedule.
“We would like to thank our customers for their continued support and understanding, whilst the necessary repairs to Lamington Viaduct have been undertaken. It will be great to begin operating direct services to and from Edinburgh and Glasgow again and we look forward to welcoming our customers on board soon.”
First TransPennine Express Interim Managing Director Liz Collins said: “We’re delighted to have a date set for the reopening of Lamington Viaduct. The completion of the repairs will mean our services will begin to return to normal along the West Coast Main Line on the 22nd.
“We know this disruption has been a difficult time for customers and our colleagues and we are grateful for their patience. Throughout the disruption we have been working hard with our industry partners to make sure customers can continue their journeys in and out of Scotland and this will continue while the final repair works are carried out.”
About Network Rail
Network Rail owns, manages and develops Britain's railway - the 20,000 miles of track, 40,000 bridges and viaducts and the thousands of signals, level crossings and stations (the largest of which we also run). In partnership with train operators we help people take more than 1.65bn journeys by rail every year and move hundreds of millions of tonnes of freight, saving almost 8m lorry journeys. We employ 36,000 people across Britain and work round-the-clock, each and every day, to provide a safe, reliable railway.
About the Railway Upgrade Plan
The Railway Upgrade Plan is Network Rail's investment plan for Britain's railways. It makes up two-thirds of Network Rail's £40bn spending priorities for the five years to 2019 and represents the biggest sustained programme of rail modernisation since the Victoria era. It is designed to provide more capacity, relieve crowding and respond to the tremendous growth Britain's railways continue to experience; passenger numbers have doubled in the past 20 years and are set to double again over the next 25 years - so we need to continue to invest in building a bigger, better railway. For passengers, that means:
- longer, faster more frequent trains;
- better, more reliable infrastructure; and
- better facilities for passengers, especially at stations.