Keeping you moving: Changes to services to/from Glasgow Queen Street

Tuesday, 8 March 2016

Changes to services to and from Glasgow Queen Street.

As part of our preparations to deliver faster, longer, greener trains for Scotland, on Sunday 20 March Glasgow Queen Street High Level tunnel closed for 20 weeks for essential upgrading. It will re-open on Monday 8 August.

This means that Queen Street High Level station is temporarily closed too. Queen Street Low Level station remains open and services are being diverted either to Low Level or to Glasgow Central.

At Queen Street station, we've put a 'one way' queuing system in place to make sure customers can safely access and exit the Low Level station. Take a look at the map and make sure you know where to go depending on where you're travelling to.

Show queuing map

Click on our interactive map below to check your journey to or from Glasgow Queen Street.

All services that normally arrive at or leave from Glasgow Queen Street High Level are affected in some way. Services diverted to Queen Street Low Level take around 25 minutes longer.

Show diversion map

Diverted services and amended timetables

Fastest option: Customers travelling ‘end to end’ between Edinburgh and Glasgow should use the route via Bathgate and Airdrie, which has four trains per hour throughout the day, taking around 70 minutes. Almost every train on this route has the maximum six carriages.

Diverted option: Customers who travel from Linlithgow, Polmont, Falkirk High and Croy follow a diverted route to and from Glasgow Queen Street Low Level. Two trains per hour for all except Croy, which has four. Note: ‘End to end’ customers may also use this route but it is not recommended.

Other options: Two trains per hour go via Shotts/Carstairs to Glasgow Central taking between 1hr 18 and 1hr 31. There is also one train every two hours between Glasgow Central and Edinburgh via Motherwell and Carstairs, with a journey time between 1hr and 1hr 10.

Trains are being diverted to Glasgow Central where there are more retail facilities and more space for groups of customers or those with luggage.

Journey times to Glasgow are between 30-40 minutes longer. However, if your whole journey is north of Stirling (ie, Inverness - Stirling) you will be largely unaffected by the tunnel closure, barring minor timetable alterations.

Note: The last service from Glasgow Central to Aberdeen departs between 20-30 minutes earlier than it would normally leave Glasgow Queen Street.

Some of these services use Glasgow Queen Street; others Glasgow Central. Some services that previously terminated at Dunblane are extended to Perth during the tunnel closure, providing additional options for customers in the Perth area. Customers should check their journeys online by using our Journey Planner or the ScotRail app.

Services follow a diverted route to and from Glasgow Queen Street Low Level or Glasgow Central, and journeys take around 25 minutes longer. Customers should check their journeys online by using our Journey Planner or the ScotRail app.

We’ve combined this route with the Anniesland service during the tunnel closure. One train per hour runs between Falkirk Grahamston and Anniesland via Cumbernauld and Springburn.
Falkirk Grahamston customers should change at Cumbernauld or Springburn for a connection to Glasgow.
Cumbernauld / Greenfaulds / Stepps / Gartcosh customers - Glasgow is reduced to two services per hour all day - one direct and one requiring a change at Springburn.
Please check the ScotRail app or Journey Planner to find the best travel option.

Local bus operators also offer frequent services to Glasgow city centre, and these may offer you a quicker journey.

Reduced to hourly - perviously had two trains per hour. Monday to Saturday, passengers from Ashfield, Possilpark and Parkhouse, Gilshochill, Summerston, Maryhill and Kelvindale have a choice of how to travel:

  • Travel west towards Anniesland and change trains to reach Glasgow Queen Street Low Level
  • Catch an eastbound train towards Falkirk Grahamston and change trains at Springburn for Glasgow Queen Street Low Level

Customers should check which opportunity gives them a shorter journey time.

On Sundays, services between Anniesland and Glasgow Queen Street terminate and start from Ashfield. Passengers travelling to Glasgow Queen Street from Ashfield, Possilpark and Parkhouse, Gilshochill, Summerston, Maryhill and Kelvindale should travel west to Anniesland and change trains to reach Glasgow Queen Street.

Note: FirstGlasgow operate several buses in the Anniesland area, and customers may want to check if using these buses will offer a quicker journey.

Diverted via Glasgow Queen Street Low Level station and take approx 25 minutes longer. As time for boarding and alighting at Glasgow will be limited, additional staff are on hand to help customers with luggage etc. Seat reservations and catering are still provided.

Two services each day which previously operated directly between Fife and Glasgow will be altered, and a change at Haymarket is required. The 0713 Kirkcaldy - Glasgow Queen St runs to Haymarket only; and the 1733 Glasgow Queen St - Markinch is cancelled.

Large numbers travel between Bishopbriggs / Lenzie – Glasgow. Trains to / from Stirling, Dunblane and Alloa continue to call at both stations every half hour. However an additional journey time of 25 minutes may make trains a less attractive option. Peak trains will be extremely busy and you may not be able to board the first train you aim to catch.

To help, we've agreed with First Glasgow to run extra service buses at peak times providing more than 600 extra seats from and to both towns. Service 89 from Bishopbriggs has four more services in the peak, and Service X85 from Lenzie also has a further four. This offers journey times of around 20 minutes. Rail tickets cannot be used so you should buy a bus ticket or pass beforehand or when boarding. Please note that, depending on how and when you travel, the bus may be slightly more expensive than the train.

Passengers from Kirkintilloch are likely to find that the X85 and X87 bus services provide a much faster door to door journey compared with travelling to Lenzie station and boarding a train to Glasgow.

Bus information and a journey planner can be found at www.firstglasgow.com

We're also offering a Led Ride cycling option for customers from Bishopbriggs - please see the 'Active Travel' tab below.

Almost all trains to/from Stirling or Falkirk High call at Croy on virtually the same frequency of four trains per hour to Glasgow and a half hourly service to Edinburgh and stations to Stirling. However, journeys take approx 25 minutes longer.

Changes to other services across Scotland

As a consequence of diverted services using Queen Street Low Level station, alterations need to be made across the network – particularly west of the city – to ensure that there is room on the line for trains to follow the diverted route.

This means a temporary timetable is in place for other services, particularly trains that currently use Queen Street Low Level and Glasgow Central Low Level stations. Some services have been retimed with different stopping ‘patterns’, and some trains terminate/start at different stations than normal.

Key points to note:

  • If travelling from Lanarkshire to Glasgow, departure times won’t change until the train gets past Glasgow Central. In general terms, services from Glasgow Central westbound have been retimed
  • Trains from Milngavie / Dalmuir leave earlier than normal during the closure
  • The final destination of trains may be different from what you’re used to. For example, if heading to the city from Whifflet, you will get a Dalmuir train instead of a Milngavie train
  • Two Dalmuir services start and terminate at Anderston, which means that stations west of Anderston experience a reduced service. This will particularly affect:
    • Clydebank, Yoker, Garscadden, Scotstounhill and Jordanhill – services reduced from four to two trains per hour in both directions
    • Exhibition Centre – trains reduced from six to four per hour

Westbound changes

  • Larkhall to Dalmuir via Singer – two per hour
    INSTEAD this runs Larkhall to Milngavie – two per hour
  • Motherwell to Milngavie via Whifflet – one per hour
    INSTEAD this runs Motherwell to Dalmuir via Whifflet / Singer – one per hour
  • Whifflet to Milngavie via Carmyle – one per hour
    INSTEAD this runs Whifflet to Dalmuir via Carmyle / Singer – one per hour
  • Cumbernauld – Dalmuir via Motherwell/Blantyre/Yoker – one per hour
    INSTEAD this runs Cumbernauld – Anderston via Motherwell / Blantyre – one per hour
  • Motherwell to Dalmuir via Blantyre/Yoker – one per hour
    INSTEAD this runs Motherwell to Anderston via Blantyre – one per hour

Eastbound changes

  • Dalmuir to Larkhall via Yoker – two per hour
    INSTEAD this runs Dalmuir to Larkhall via Singer – two per hour
  • Dalmuir to Whifflet via Singer – one per hour
    INSTEAD this runs Anderston to Whifflet – one per hour
  • Dalmuir to Motherwell via Singer and Whifflet – one per hour
    INSTEAD this runs Anderston to Motherwell via Whifflet - one per hour

A handful of services between Glasgow Central and Lanark run one minute later for all or part of the journey.

  • These depart at different times in both directions
  • Both services call at different stations than normal
  • Helensburgh to Edinburgh no longer an 'all-stopper'. The stops have been spread out across both services to ensure a consistent 70 minute service between Glasgow and Edinburgh during the tunnel closure
  • Throughout the day, Helensburgh to Edinburgh trains, in both directions, call at:
    ​Craigendoran, Cardross, Dalreoch, Dumbarton Central, Dumbarton East, Dalmuir, Hyndland, Partick, Charing Cross, Glasgow Queen Street Low Level, High Street, Bellgrove, Carntyne, Shettleston, Garrowhill, Easterhouse, Blairhill, Coatbridge Sunnyside, Coatdyke, Airdrie, Drumgelloch, Bathgate, Livingston North, Uphall, Edinburgh Park, Haymarket
  • Throughout the day, Milngavie to Edinburgh services, in both directions, call at:
    Hillfoot, Bearsden, Westerton, Anniesland, Hyndland, Partick, Charing Cross, Glasgow Queen Street Low Level, High Street, Coatbridge Sunnyside, Airdrie, Drumgelloch, Caldercruix, Blackridge, Armadale, Bathgate, Livingston North, Uphall, Edinburgh Park, Haymarket
  • Milngavie to Edinburgh services stop running in the evening with the last trains at:
    • 17:37 Edinburgh – Milngavie 19:18
    • 18:23 Milngavie – Edinburgh 20:00
  • In the evening, Helensburgh services call at Caldercruix, Blackridge and Armadale and do NOT stop at Bellgrove, Carntyne, Shettleston, Garrowhill, Easterhouse, Blairhill. Trains between Airdrie and Balloch call at these stations instead in the evening

During the closure, these services run two per hour ALL day (a better service) but will NOT call at Kilpatrick and Bowling.

  • Previously, two trains per hour during the day between Cumbernauld to Dalmuir via Springburn, which changed in the evening to a Cumbernauld to Balloch service
  • These now run Cumbernauld to Dumbarton Central – one per hour ALL day, plus Springburn to Dumbarton Central – one per hour ALL day. Both services call at Kilpatrick and Bowling
  • This means Dumbarton East and Dumbarton Central are receiving an enhanced train service

You can check your own journey via our Journey Planner or the ScotRail app.

Timetables are available in station booking offices, and can also be downloaded below.

Download timetables

Changes to some peak services

We are doing everything possible to keep you moving during the improvement works that are taking place in Glasgow Queen Street tunnel.

Extra carriages are being added where we can and timetable changes introduced to make sure we have a plan that works across ALL routes affected by the tunnel closure.

This means that, in a small number of cases, the train you would normally get at peak times may be replaced by another service.

Below is a list of trains where this applies. If you previously used one of these services, you need to check the new timetables so that you can make choices about your journey.

Check your journey via our Journey Planner, or by downloading the relevant timetable.

  • 07:13 Kirkcaldy – Glasgow
  • 07:14 Carstairs – Garscadden (terminates Anderston)
  • 07:34 Lenzie – Glasgow
  • 07:34 Helensburgh – Airdrie
  • 07:36 Carstairs – Dalmuir (terminates Anderston)
  • 07:51 Balloch – Springburn
  • 07:59 Helensburgh – Airdrie
  • 07:58 Milngavie – Springburn
  • 08:06 Glasgow – Dundee (08:08 Saturdays)
  • 08:07 Dumbarton – High Street
  • 08:08 Glasgow – Dundee (Sat only)
  • 08:17 Dundee – Glasgow (incl. Sat)
  • 08:18 Milngavie – Edinburgh
  • 09:08 Glasgow – Dundee (incl. Sat)
  • 15:13 Dundee – Glasgow (incl. Sat)
  • 16:11 Glasgow – Arbroath (incl. Sat)
  • 16:33 Glasgow – Lenzie
  • 16:55 Cumbernauld – Balloch
  • 16:57 Airdrie – Helensburgh
  • 17:04 Glasgow – Falkirk Grahamston
  • 17:04 Glasgow – Carnoustie (Sat only)
  • 17:06 Charing Cross – Cumbernauld
  • 17:11 Glasgow – Carnoustie
  • 17:14 Bellgrove – Helensburgh
  • 17:33 Glasgow – Markinch
  • 19:09 Glasgow – Dundee (incl. Sat)

We’ve already contacted many season ticket holders who have ‘longer than monthly’ passes. We did this to ensure they could make an informed decision about their travel options during the tunnel closure – before they renewed their passes.

We have worked hard to ensure that rail travel will remain a reasonable choice during the diversion by retaining direct services in almost all instances – although journeys will take approximately 25 minutes longer. If a change of train is required, we have made the connection times as speedy as possible.

Cycling is a quick and healthy way to travel. On average, five miles can be easily cycled in 25-30 minutes – about the distance between Bishopbriggs to Glasgow city centre!

We’ve teamed up with Cycling Scotland, Glasgow Bike Station and other local community groups to offer support to those who are keen to give cycling a go during the tunnel closure.

Between March and May, free ‘led rides’ are on offer, letting you try cycling from Bishopbriggs on a range of routes – so no matter your cycling ability, there is an option for you. Each ride is graded by ease of use using quieter routes – such as on canal towpaths – to faster routes for those who are more confident cycling. Experienced Ride Leaders are on hand to help with any minor bike mechanical issues, and you’ll be able to travel with a group of others who are also trying out the routes.

Book your spot here

We’ll also be offering Dr Bike workshops where customers can have their bikes safety checked – ideal for those who haven’t had their bike out of the shed over the winter months!

Led rides set off from Bishopbriggs to Glasgow city centre.

Towards Glasgow

  • Leave Bishopbriggs station at 08:00, travel along green corridor, off road network to Cowcaddens Underground
  • Leave Bishopbriggs station at 08:15, travel along minor road network to Queen Street station
  • Leave Bishopbriggs station at 07:45, travel along major road network to Queen Street station

Towards Bishopbriggs

  • Leave from Cowcaddens Underground at 17:30, travel along green corridor, off road network to Bishopbriggs station
  • Leave from Queen Street station at 17:30, travel along minor road network to Bishopbriggs station
  • Leave from Queen Street station at 17:30, travel along major road network to Bishopbriggs station

In the car park where the Blue Badge spaces and taxi rank were previously located, a large marquee has been set up to allow passengers queuing to board trains on the Low Level platforms to do so under cover.

As a result, there is no public vehicle access except for construction vehicles. This means that the taxi rank, Blue Badge spaces and drop-off facilities are not available during the blockade.

Customers requiring additional assistance are advised to book in advance so our staff can be prepared for your arrival.

For those who are unable to use the stairs to the Low Level station, we have additional staff in and around the station who are able to accompany customers to and from the lifts between platforms.

On West George Street there is a new taxi rank for six taxis outside the Millennium Hotel.

The closure of Queen Street tunnel is necessary to enable major engineering work to renew 1,800m of existing concrete ‘slab’ track formation, which carries the rails through the 918m tunnel.

This is the largest piece of engineering undertaken on the Edinburgh – Falkirk High – Glasgow railway since it was built and involves:

  • 140 days of continuous round the clock working
  • In excess of 150 staff every day
  • More than half a million man hours
  • Removal of 10,000 tonnes of existing concrete slab
  • Installation of 4,000m of new rails

Why do we need to do this work?

The existing concrete track slab within the tunnel has been in place for 40 years and, due to the impact of continuous use and the effects of water infiltration, is starting to significantly degrade.

The planned electrification of the line through the tunnel heightens the need for the work as the faster speeds achieved by electric trains have the potential to accelerate deterioration of the slab.

Installation of new slab with modern specifications has a design life of 60 years without future major intervention.

This long term solution is ultimately the most efficient and least disruptive solution.

Why is it happening now?

Timescales have been carefully planned, taking into account the scale and location of the work. The railway is quieter during the summer months. In addition, it’s more efficient to do this upgrade ahead of the electrification of the line later in 2016.

For more information, check out our frequently asked questions below. If you can't find the answer to your question, please contact us:

Customer Relations

National Rail Enquiries

  • Tel: 03457 48 49 50

Assisted travel

  • Tel: 0800 912 2 901
  • Text Relay: 18001 0800 912 2 901 (text relay service for the hard of hearing)

Social media

Smartphone app

  • Text ‘ScotRail’ to 86688 to download our app, or search your app store for ‘ScotRail’

Frequently asked questions

Keeping you moving during the Glasgow Queen Street tunnel closure.

As part of our preparations to deliver faster, longer, greener trains for Scotland, Glasgow Queen Street High Level tunnel closed for 20 weeks on Sunday 20 March. It will re-open on Monday 8 August.

The closure allows Network Rail to replace 1,800m of concrete ‘slab’ track just before and inside the tunnel that leads into Glasgow Queen Street High Level station.

No. Glasgow Queen Street Low Level station remains open and many trains are diverted there.

The 40 year old track bed within the tunnel is deteriorating and needs to be replaced to ensure the continuing safe operation of train services to and from Glasgow Queen Street High Level.

Doing the work now also means that existing class 380 electric trains will be able to operate at their optimum performance levels when they begin running from December 2016. New Hitachi electric trains will begin operating on the Edinburgh - Glasgow via Falkirk High route in the autumn of 2017, with the full roll out on this line in December 2017.

The best advice we can give is:

  • Check your journey online
  • Take a look at the diversion map
  • Aim to set off earlier than normal. Trains are still running but most journeys take longer because of the diversions to and from Glasgow Queen Street Low Level. Some trains are also reduced in frequency
  • Be prepared to queue, particularly at peak times, if you normally use Edinburgh Waverley or Glasgow Queen Street stations. At Queen Street, a ‘one way’ system is in operation to and from Low Level platforms so please follow instructions from customer service staff.

Impact on train services during the Glasgow Queen Street tunnel closure.

Trains cannot access Queen Street High Level while the tunnel is closed. We’ve prepared temporary timetables to ensure that the vast majority of customers are still able to travel to and from Glasgow by train.

Some services are diverted to Queen Street Low Level, whilst longer distance trains from Aberdeen and Inverness use Glasgow Central instead.

Most direct journey opportunities by train are still maintained, however, the majority have been retimed and some take longer.

There’s a limit to the number of services that can pass through Queen Street Low Level station, which means we can't run as many peak time trains. However, where possible, we’ve maximised capacity on services that are running by adding carriages.

Information about Glasgow Queen Street station and facilities during the tunnel closure.

The booking office, toilets, left luggage and low level station access points (including lifts) remain open, and a 3m wide walkway has been maintained across the concourse to allow customers to walk through the station. At peak times, queuing systems are in operation just outside Dundas St and Hanover St entrances, so we've erected temporary marquees to protect customers from the elements.

No, the tunnel works are unconnected to the wider plans to enlarge and redevelop the station and surrounding area. When the High Level station re-opens it will not look as it does now; most of the station will be cordoned off as building and refurbishment work continues.

We carried out research to assess whether commercial bus operators would be able to accommodate rail customers who normally travel from Strathclyde train stations. Our findings confirmed that, on most routes, the existing bus services had sufficient capacity to cater for customers who might prefer to switch to bus during the tunnel closure.

There are two exceptions. We've agreed with First Glasgow to run additional peak time service buses to/from Bishopbriggs and Lenzie throughout the tunnel closure because of the high numbers who commute to Glasgow from these locations. These offer journey times of around 20 minutes so may be faster than the diverted train journeys.