Major £164m cross-border rail operation to begin


A major cross-border rail operation costing £164 million is about to begin. 

Carstairs Junction
Credit: Network Rail
by Rory ButlerFebruary 23, 2023

Network Rail will commence a three-month programme of works from March to overhaul Carstairs Junction in Scotland, which is reaching the end of its operational lifespan.   

The scheme will see the creation of Scotland’s largest freight loop, capable of accommodating 775m-long freight trains.   

It forms part of an investment plan by the Scottish Government to modernise the junction by remodelling the track layout and clearing an existing bottleneck on the network.  

Carstairs Junction provides services to Glasgow, Edinburgh and Carlisle. 

Works will be complex and done in three phases. Enabling works began in 2020. 

Delivery team 

  • Siemens
  • Story Contracting
  • Arcadis
  • SPL Powerlines

“Carstairs Junction is coming to the end of its lifecycle and with the volume of freight and passenger trains passing through each week it’s important that we modernise this part of the network,” said Liam Sumpter, route director, Network Rail Scotland. 

There’s never a good time to close such an important line but this is a huge and extremely complex piece of work that will safeguard the future of the route for years to come. 

“We appreciate that this will cause some inconvenience and would like to thank customers for their patience during this time.” 

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