Monday 3 Dec 2007


Region & Route:
Scotland’s Railway: Scotland
Network Rail has arranged three community meetings to provide an update on the progress on the Gretna-Annan double tracking works and highlight the project goal to have work complete by summer 2008. The eight mile, GBP35 million project to double track the railway between Gretna and Annan stations will provide an important passenger route from Carlisle via Dumfries to Ayrshire via Kilmarnock and on to Glasgow Central and is expected to be completed by August 2008. The route will also provide an improved freight railway for transferring coal from Ayrshire to power stations in England. David Simpson, Route Director for Network Rail in Scotland said: "The Gretna to Annan route is a vital rail link for both freight and passenger trains and the upgrade is an important part of Network Rail's vision to modernise and grow the railway in Scotland. The GBP35 million we have invested in the area will allow us to double track this stretch of line, providing increased capacity, less chance of delays and, potentially, more services in the future. "Although work has been progressing well in recent weeks, we have taken the decision to revert to our original completion date of summer 2008. We had hoped to have the work completed by February, however, it has become clear as work has progressed, that summer is a much more realistic timescale to ensure that the engineering work is carried out to the very highest standard. "We have arranged these community council meetings to explain the situation to the local residents and ensure that they are kept informed about the progress of the work. We'd like to thank the local communities for their continued support and patience while this work is completed." Local meetings will take place as follows: 3 December: Eastriggs, Dornock & Creca Community Council Meeting 10 December: Royal Burgh of Annan Community Council 21 January: Gretna Green & Springfield Community Council Meeting

Notes to editors

The Gretna-Annan line is the main route for the transportation of coal from Ayrshire to power stations in England. The double-tracked line will provide an improved diversionary route for trains on the Glasgow & South West route as well as trains traveling on the West Coast Main Line. The upgrade has already included works to several bridges along the length of the line - Stonehouse road bridge, Bellevue Road bridge, and Stonehouse farm access bridge. It will also include upgrades to Gretna Green Station, including a new platform, improved parking and a footbridge.

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