Tuesday 11 Apr 2006


Region & Route:
Scotland’s Railway: Scotland
Passengers on the West Coast Main Line in Scotland are set to benefit from faster journeys following the £8 million renewal of a 130–year-old viaduct near Beattock Summit. Harthope viaduct, which is now life expired, will be demolished and a brand new structure will be built in its place, allowing high speed trains to pass over at speeds of up to 125 mph. Hugh Wark, Network Rail’s Area Director Scotland, said: “This project will mean quicker journeys for passengers on this busy Glasgow to London route.  We aim to complete it as quickly as possible, ensuring the minimum disruption for train services.”  The approach taken by the project team – ‘lifting’ out the old structure and ‘sliding’ in the viaduct – will considerably minimise the time taken to install the new bridge . The main physical works will take place over Easter, from Friday 14 April until Tuesday 18 April, when the old railway infrastructure – track, sleepers, overhead electrification masts and overhead wires – will be removed and the existing six span viaduct demolished. During the works replacement coach/bus services will run between Carlisle and Annan and between Carlisle, Lockerbie, Edinburgh, Motherwell and Glasgow. Some trains between Glasgow and England will use an alternative route. The new two span steel super structure is currently being fabricated and erected at site on temporary trestles parallel with the existing viaduct.   Once constructed, the super structure will have ballast and track placed onto it and engineers will then slide the new viaduct  side ways into position, realign 600 metres of track either side of the viaduct and restore the overhead lines.

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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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