Summer of chaos for rail passengers

Bearsden Train Station.
Bearsden Train Station.

Rail commuters in Milngavie and Bearsden are being warned of six weeks of chaos to services due to major engineering works.

Train passengers are being urged to plan ahead before the works begin on Scotland’s busiest rail line between 
Edinburgh and Glasgow this weekend.

The closure of the Winchburgh Tunnel, near Linlithgow, will affect services from Saturday, June 13, until Monday, July 27.

ScotRail says engineers will be working round-the-clock to lower and re-lay two lines of track through the 330m-long tunnel and install equipment to carry the overhead power lines needed for the electrification of the railway.

A temporary timetable will be put in place and buses will replace trains where necessary.

But commuters have been advised by ScotRail to set off earlier than normal and plan ahead for their journeys.

Train journeys on the 
busiest section from Glasgow to Edinburgh may take up to 50 per cent longer.

The work is part of a £742million improvement programme funded by the Scottish Government to electrify the Edinburgh to Glasgow Queen Street line by 2016.

This is to allow faster, greener and longer electric services on the route.

A ScotRail spokesperson said: “We will provide extra carriages where possible. However, we’re advising those who commute from intermediate stations between Glasgow and Edinburgh that they may not get on the first train they aim to catch, particularly at peak times.

“We are asking commuters to consider setting off 25-30 minutes earlier if possible or amend their travel times to use trains that are less busy.”

Phil Verster, ScotRail Alliance’s managing director, said: “This work is a vital part of transforming our railway, and the benefits will be felt for generations to come.”

Extra staff will be at key stations to guide passengers and queuing systems will be in place at Glasgow Queen Street, Edinburgh Waverley, Haymarket and Edinburgh Park while the tunnel is closed.

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