Friday 29 Oct 2004


Region & Route:
Scotland’s Railway: Scotland
A £6 million investment in railway engineering by Network Rail will soon be underway on the West Highland Line.  This major project, which will involve the closure of the line between 13 and 17 November, will see a new bridge constructed at Ardlui and extensive refurbishment to three bridges:  Gairlochead Viaduct, Crianlarich Viaduct and Auchtertyre Viaduct. This essential engineering work will cover 40 miles of the West Highland Line and involves replacing steel structures, new decking and waterproofing. Track will also be renewed on the bridges. Ron McAulay, Route Director, Scotland said:  “This extensive engineering work involves a major investment and demonstrates our ongoing commitment to provide a reliable and safe railway for all passengers, not just those in more highly populated areas.  “In order to minimise disruption, we have planned this work at a quieter time of year when there are fewer tourists and holidaymakers around and before the Christmas season.” As a result of the engineering work First ScotRail will be unable to operate through services on the West Highland line between Saturday 13 November and Wednesday 17 November. This will affect services between Glasgow Queen Street and Oban, Fort William and Mallaig, as well as the Fort William Caledonian Sleeper service. A replacement bus service will operate between Glasgow Queen Street, Crianlarich, Dalmally, Tulloch and Fort William. A train service will operate between Dalmally and Oban and also between Corrour, Fort William and Mallaig. There will be no Caledonian Sleeper service to or from Fort William between these dates. A replacement bus service will connect into the Inverness – London Euston Sleeper service at Aviemore or Kingussie. In general, train and bus services will depart at advertised times but journeys may take longer than normal. Passengers are advised to check times before travelling at staffed stations, or by phoning the National Rail Enquiry Service on 08457 48 49 50. First ScotRail regrets that heavy luggage, cycles, wheelchairs and large prams cannot be carried on the replacement buses.  Wheelchair users needing help with their journey should call 0845 605 7021 in advance for information. First ScotRail apologises for any inconvenience caused. It is essential that this work is carried out as it will have an impact on the tourist industry.  The Hogwarts Express steam train, which is stored in Glasgow over the winter, requires access to all four bridges at the start and end of the season. The work will involve improving approximately 600 metres of track, include over 1,000 tonnes of materials and more than 260 employees, Network Rail has worked closely with the Loch Lomond and Trossachs National Park and is undertaking sympathetic engineering practices to minimise impact on the environment and wildlife. 

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We own, operate and develop Britain's railway infrastructure; that's 20,000 miles of track, 30,000 bridges, tunnels and viaducts and the thousands of signals, level crossings and stations. We run 20 of the UK's largest stations while all the others, over 2,500, are run by the country's train operating companies.

Usually, there are almost five million journeys made in the UK and over 600 freight trains run on the network. People depend on Britain's railway for their daily commute, to visit friends and loved ones and to get them home safe every day. Our role is to deliver a safe and reliable railway, so we carefully manage and deliver thousands of projects every year that form part of the multi-billion pound Railway Upgrade Plan, to grow and expand the nation's railway network to respond to the tremendous growth and demand the railway has experienced - a doubling of passenger journeys over the past 20 years.

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