West Coast Mainline to re-open next Monday

Monday, 15 February 2016

The ScotRail Alliance has today (Monday, 15th February) confirmed train services will resume running over flood-damaged Lamington Viaduct on Monday, 22nd February.

Works to repair and reopen the viaduct, on the West Coast Mainline, are to finish ahead of schedule following an intensive seven week engineering project to save the vital structure from collapse.

The Victorian-built viaduct had been severely weakened and left close to falling into the River Clyde by flood damage caused by Storm Frank on New Year’s Eve.

The viaduct’s second pier was left on the brink of failure when floodwaters scoured out much of its foundations.

Phil Verster, Managing Director of the ScotRail Alliance, said: “I am delighted that we have managed to complete the works at Lamington ahead of schedule.

“I understand the impact the closure of Lamington Viaduct has had on customers and our engineers have been working around-the-clock since its closure to finish the repairs and get trains back on the West Coast Mainline.

“This project has been a hugely challenging one - involving working out in the Clyde through the worst of January's storms in a race against time to save the structure. Our engineers have faced atrocious conditions throughout this project and I am really proud of their hard work and their absolute commitment to getting the line open again.

“I really do what to thank customers for their patience and our industry partners for the close cooperation shown over the last two months. By working together we have been able to help limit disruption for passengers by providing diversionary routes for many of the affected services.”

Engineers had to work around-the-clock to divert the Clyde and stabilise the structure following Storm Frank.

The incident also damaged the second pier’s steel bearings, which support the bridge-deck and track above the pier, a non-load-bearing section of the viaduct’s third pier and the structure’s north abutment.

Over the weekend, engineers installed new steel bearings on the viaduct’s damaged second pier and constructed a new concrete plinth on the top of the pier to support them.

Having successfully raised the bridge-deck back into position last week, the recovery works are now progressing two weeks ahead of the March reopening date previously announced.

Engineers have taken advantage of a break in the weather conditions and the earlier than expected arrival of the new, custom-made, bearings to accelerate their recovery programme.

Phil Bearpark, Executive Director of Operations and Projects at Virgin Trains, said: “We’re really pleased that Network Rail has announced that the West Coast Mainline will re-open later this month, ahead of schedule.

“We would like to thank our customers for their continued support and understanding, whilst the necessary repairs to Lamington Viaduct have been undertaken. It will be great to begin operating direct services to and from Edinburgh and Glasgow again and we look forward to welcoming our customers on board soon.”

First TransPennine Express Interim Managing Director Liz Collins said: “We’re delighted to have a date set for the reopening of Lamington Viaduct. The completion of the repairs will mean our services will begin to return to normal along the West Coast Main Line on the 22nd.

“We know this disruption has been a difficult time for customers and our colleagues and we are grateful for their patience during this time. Throughout the disruption we have been working hard with our industry partners to make sure customers can continue their journeys in and out of Scotland and this will continue while the final repair works are carried out.”