Queen Street Tunnel to close for 20 weeks
Major publicity campaign launched to ensure that customers have the information they need to keep moving during the closure
Trains will continue to run in and out of Glasgow, but journeys will take longer
Work will support the introduction of faster, longer, greener trains to Scotland’s rail network
The ScotRail Alliance today launched a major publicity campaign to ensure that customers have all the information they need to keep moving when Queen Street tunnel closes for twenty weeks between 20 March and 8 August 2016.
The £60m project will renew nearly 2km of ageing slab-track through Queen Street tunnel and enable faster, longer, greener trains to operate on Scotland’s rail network from later this year.
The closure of the tunnel will mean that trains that would normally run in and out of Queen Street High Level will be diverted to either Queen Street Low Level or Glasgow Central. This will mean changes to existing timetables and, in many cases, longer journey times.
A dedicated webpage launches today to give people information about the impact on their own journey. This will be supported over the coming weeks with advertising, business briefings and customer information at stations, on train and online.
Additional carriages will be added to services that are running to provide as much extra capacity as possible, and queuing systems will be in place at Glasgow Queen Street and Edinburgh Waverley at peak times.
Phil Verster, managing director of the ScotRail Alliance, said: “Glasgow Queen Street is one of the busiest stations in Scotland. Every day, tens of thousands of people travel through the station on their way to work, to college or university or to visit friends. People will still be able to do that while the tunnel is closed - the railway is still very much open for business. However, they will see changes to their normal journey. We want to make sure that everyone understands what these change mean for them.
“That is why we are launching our biggest ever public information campaign. In the run up to the closure we will be speaking directly to our customers, to businesses, and to public bodies to give them the information they need and to answer any questions that they might have.
“Upgrading the tunnel will allow us to run faster, longer, greener trains in the future. This will mean more seats, shorter journey times and less impact on our environment. The long term benefits of this investment will be considerable, not just for our railway, but also for the country.”
Transport Minister Derek Mackay said: “This is a significant milestone in our £5 billion programme of investment in Scotland’s Railway which is helping to reverse decades of under-investment and substantially modernise our rail infrastructure.
“This is a once in a generation project and one of the most ambitious ever planned on the Edinburgh-Glasgow route. The works will support the introduction of a new generation of faster, quieter and greener electric trains on routes across the Central Belt next year.
“Although I understand that this work will cause some inconvenience to passengers, the ScotRail Alliance is working to ensure that services are maintained where possible, disruption is kept to a minimum and that passengers are kept well informed throughout the work.
“I would like to thank passengers in advance for their cooperation and understanding during the tunnel closure.”
Customers can check their own journey online now, with full timetables available to download from 20 February.