Network Rail engineers will be working around the clock over the next two weekends to upgrade a vital junction at the heart of Scotland’s rail network.
The Whifflet South Junction, located between Coatbridge Freight Terminal and Mossend/Eurocentral near Motherwell on the West Coast Main Line, will be upgraded for the first time since it was installed over 50 years ago.
Due to the complexity of the project, the railway line between Coatbridge and Motherwell will be closed for two weekends, from Saturday 20th to Sunday 21st and from Saturday 27th to Sunday 28th August.
No services will cross the junction during these weekends and ScotRail will operate replacement bus services between Motherwell and Rutherglen via Whifflet/Carmyle, and between Motherwell and Cumbernauld.
The junction renewal works will see the joined rail, timber sleeper and worn ballast (carrier stone) replaced with reinforced track, concrete sleepers and fresh stone.
Decades of heavy freight train hauling have taken their toll and the upgrade is designed to increase reliability and reduce the amount of maintenance required on the track and signal equipment.
Eddie McLoone, project manager for Scottish Railway, said“The £2.2 million investment in the renewal of the Whifflet South Junction is essential to keep freight services running smoothly between the Mossend and Coatbridge freight terminals and the rest of Scotland’s railways.
“We know this work will cause disruption, but such a vital upgrade cannot be completed without closing the track to allow our engineers access to the track.
“We would like to reassure freight customers and rail passengers that every effort has been made to minimize the impact of our activities. Thanks for understanding.”
Passengers can check how their journey may be affected by visiting www.nationalrail.co.uk or www.scotrail.co.uk. We have worked closely with our freight colleagues to keep their vital services moving, using detour routes north and south where possible.