Network Rail begins £1.8m improvement programme on Mallaig Line: Lochailort June 2020

Tuesday 8 Feb 2022

Network Rail begins £1.8m improvement programme on Mallaig Line

Region & Route:
Scotland’s Railway: Scotland

Engineers will start work this week on the Mallaig line at Lochailort in the West Highlands.

The £1.8 million investment will help improve the resilience of the railway and follows on from work undertaken at this location in the summer of 2020 – when severe weather caused flash floods that washed away 80 metres of railway.

The four-month programme, from February to June 2022, involves installing a new concrete drainage tunnel, or culvert, next to the existing Allt na Criche bridge that carries the Allt na Criche burn under the railway.

To allow the team to safely lift the culvert into place, a 215-tonne crane will be used during a 78-hour period of continuous working, from overnight on Friday 18 March to the morning of Tuesday 22 March.

Once the culvert is in place, a new embankment 145 metres in length and ranging between 1 metre to 2.5 metres in height will be built, helping to protect the railway and surrounding land from future flooding events.

Jeremy Spence, Network Rail’s programme manager for the work, said: “Severe weather incidents present challenges to the railway across Britain. As an industry, we continue to come up with ways to help mitigate this for our passengers, freight users and the communities who live alongside the railway.

“When our programme of work at Lochailort completes in the summer, it will add further resilience to the Mallaig line against the risk of severe weather events.

“While the majority of this work is being carried out during the day, we appreciate that some activities may cause inconvenience to local residents and passengers and every effort is being made to minimise this as much as possible.”

There will be a half road closure on a section of the A830 from 8 February until 22 April, with temporary traffic management in place during this time.

For further information on the project, please contact Network Rail via the 24-hour helpline on 03457 11 41 41 or at Updates on progress on the work will also be available on Twitter: @NetworkRailSCOT. 

For information on alterations to the Glasgow to Fort William/Mallaig service during the three-day period of continuous working, visit

Contact information

Passengers / community members
Network Rail national helpline
03457 11 41 41

Latest travel advice
Please visit National Rail Enquiries

Network Rail press office - Nick King
Media relations manager (Scotland)
0141 555 4108 / 07515 617073

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