UK rail company Network Rail has announced that the first phase of the Carstairs Junction overhaul is near completion.

The upgrade works have been executed as part of a £164m Scottish Government investment to overhaul the key junction for passenger and freight services on one of Scotland’s two cross-border routes.

For this upgrade, the West Coast main line was closed for 16 days and the junction will be reopened upon completion, allowing some trains to operate directly to Edinburgh – and via diversion routes to Glasgow – on weekdays.

Works will be carried out until June 2023 and see train diversions and extended journey times on services between Glasgow/Edinburgh and Carlisle.

The completion of the south junction was the priority during the first 16 days.

This involved track upgrades, signalling and overhead line equipment deployment to connect passenger and freight trains to Edinburgh, and an additional diversionary route for services to Glasgow.

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By GlobalData

Network Rail Carstairs Junction remodelling project programme manager Jim McCleary said: “Although the weather has been challenging, work has been progressing well.  As we near the end of the first stage of work, we have delivered new track, signalling and overhead lines all across the junction.

“Delivering work in the southern section enables the first section of the new layout to reopen and from Monday (March 20), passenger and freight services will begin to again run to Edinburgh and will also enable an alternative diversionary route for services to Glasgow.  

“There is no pause for the team however and the next stage of work focuses on the West Coast main line section of the new layout, building it to be more resilient and reliable with the aim of reopening in late April.”