west coast rail line

The UK’s ScotRail Alliance has announced that train services will resume on the West Coast Main Line (WCML) next week, which was closed down for seven weeks due to the water-damaged Lamington Viaduct.

The Lamington Viaduct was hit by floods on 31 December, with water from the River Clyde surging so high that it had almost brought the structure to the point of collapse.

Last month, the alliance reported that service on WCML would not resume until March. However, the viaduct will reopen ahead of schedule following an intensive seven-week engineering project to save the structure from collapse.

At that time, engineers discovered that the viaduct suffered further damage due to the high water levels by the recent Storm Frank.

"By working together, we have been able to help limit disruption for passengers by providing diversionary routes for many of the affected services."

The engineers diverted the river with more than 1,500t of stone and stabilised the structure after the viaduct’s second pier had been left on the brink of collapse.

As part of the repair works, new steel bearings have been equipped on the structure’s second pier and a new concrete plinth has been built on the top of the pier to support them.

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ScotRail Alliance managing director Phil Verster said: "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.

"I really do want 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."

During the seven weeks of closure, passenger and freight trains were diverted through Dumfries where passengers had to endure long journeys. Replacement buses were also made operational.

Image: Lamington Viaduct track prep works. Photo: courtesy of Network Rail.