Home General Interest Edinburgh-Glasgow line, shut by flooding, to reopen 21 September

Edinburgh-Glasgow line, shut by flooding, to reopen 21 September

The line between Edinburgh and Glasgow via Falkirk, which was partially washed away near Polmont when the Union Canal burst its banks on Wednesday 12 August, will reopen for passengers on Monday 21 September.

The force of thousands of gallons of water flowing from the breached canal bank washed away sections of track and undermined the railway’s embankments along a 300-metre stretch of the line.

Engineers had to completely rebuild the foundations of the line, replacing over 15,000 tonnes of soil and stone beneath the track over a six-week period.

Polmont Landslip damage.

A kilometre of new double-track railway has also been laid consisting of more than 4,500 metres of new rails and 4,424 concrete sleepers along with 10,000 tonnes of new ballast requiring 27 engineering trains. Over 3,000 metres of signalling cables have been re-laid and two new twin track overhead power gantries installed.

ScotRail has been operating a rail shuttle service between Linlithgow and Edinburgh since Monday, 14 September, to keep customers moving while engineers carried out the extensive repair work.

Michael Matheson, Cabinet Secretary for Transport, Infrastructure and Connectivity, said: “The scale of the challenge faced by those repairing the damage to this vital route was huge and that they have delivered this so promptly is testament to the hard work and dedication of staff across Scotland’s Railway.

“I’d like to thank everyone involved for enabling services to be restored for passengers sooner than first anticipated. I’d also like to thank rail users for their patience while this work was ongoing.

“It is clear that severe weather events will continue to have an impact on our transport networks in future years to come and that is why we are taking steps to add further resilience by making climate change mitigation a central theme of our National Transport Strategy.”

Liam Sumpter, Network Rail Scotland route director, said: “This line is a vital link between Scotland’s two biggest cities and our engineers and contractors have worked as quickly as possible to get our customers moving again on this key route.

Polmont Landslip.

“The damage caused by the floods on August 12 presented a massive challenge for our engineers who had to effectively rebuild a section of the line from the foundations up.

“I’d like to thank our customers for their understanding while we have been working to repair the line and we look forward to reopening the railway for them on Monday.”

Nigel Wordsworth BSc(Hons) MCIJhttp://therailengineer.com

SPECIALIST AREAS Rolling stock, mechanical equipment, project reports, executive interviews


Nigel Wordsworth graduated with an honours degree in Mechanical Engineering from Nottingham University, after which he joined the American aerospace and industrial fastener group SPS Technologies. After a short time at the research laboratories in Pennsylvania, USA, Nigel became responsible for applications engineering to industry in the UK and Western Europe. At this time he advised on various engineering projects, from Formula 1 to machine tools, including a particularly problematic area of bogie design for the HST.

A move to the power generation and offshore oil supply sector followed as Nigel became director of Entwistle-Sandiacre, a subsidiary of the Australian-owned group Aurora plc. At the same time, Nigel spent ten years as a Technical Commissioner with the RAC Motor Sports Association, responsible for drafting and enforcing technical regulations for national and international motor racing series.

Joining Rail Engineer in 2008, Nigel’s first assignment was a report on new three-dimensional mobile mapping and surveying equipment, swiftly followed by a look at vegetation control machinery. He continues to write on a variety of topics for most issues.

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