Friday 9 Feb 2007


Region & Route:
Scotland’s Railway: Scotland
Rail passengers in the Dumfries region are set to benefit from a £35 million project by Network Rail, which will double the track between Gretna and Annan station. The line improvements mark one of the largest investments in the Dumfries region for many years. It will create greater capacity on the route and result in fewer delays for passenger and freight trains. The double tracked line also has the potential to improve journey times and increase opportunities for additional services. Ron McAulay, Director Scotland for Network Rail said: “Gretna to Annan is an increasingly busy stretch of line in the Scottish rail network both for freight and passenger trains. Doubling the track will reduce delays and make passenger and freight trains faster and more efficient.” Elaine Murray, MSP for Dumfries said: “This development marks a significant investment in Dumfriesshire’s transport network. It has the potential to result in reduced delays and journey times for passengers traveling to and from Glasgow. The increased freight carrying capability also has the potential to make a significant impact on the economy locally and for the whole of South West Scotland.” David Mundell, MP for Dumfriesshire said:"This is an important investment for the Nith Valley line and should allow not just freight improvements but enhanced passenger services between Dumfries and Carlisle which is a very popular route locally." The eight mile stretch between Gretna and Annan is an important passenger route from Carlisle via Dumfries to Ayrshire and on to Glasgow Central. It is also the main route for the transportation of coal from the freight terminal at Hunterston in North Ayrshire and the opencast sites in South Ayrshire to power stations in England. Increased line capacity will allow peak time freight transport to be accommodated with greater ease. In addition, the double-tracked line will provide a new diversionary route for trains on the Glasgow & South West route as well as Virgin pendolino trains traveling up West Coast Main Line. The work, which is expected to begin in Spring 2007, will be complete by February 2008. The upgrade will include works to several bridges along the length of the line - Stonehouse road bridge, Bellevue Road bridge, and Stonehouse farm access bridge.

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