Full list of changes to services
Commuters facing disruption over Queen St works
Commuters face a disruptive spring and summer after ScotRail announced that most of Queen Street station in Glasgow will be closed for 20 weeks.
The main tunnel serving most of the key routes needs to undergo essential works which will require a shutdown of the lines into the main concourse.
Work will start on 20 March and continue until 8 August.
It will halve the number of trains on Scotland’s busiest line and the journey will be 25 minutes longer when they are diverted to the station’s low-level platforms.
ScotRail said £60 million of work is needed to replace worn-out tracks in the surface level tunnel which was built 170 years ago. Electrification cables will also be installed.
Trains to and from Aberdeen and Inverness will be switched to Glasgow Central Station with 30-40 minutes added to journeys.
Trains on the Alloa, Dunblane, Oban and Mallaig lines will be diverted to Queen Street low level, with journey times extended by 25 minutes.
However, passengers are facing potential queues as there are fewer platforms below ground. The station currently handles 20 million passengers a year and ScotRail said it would add carriages to help cope with the demand.
Falkirk Grahamston travellers will need to change at Cumbernauld or Springburn while those on direct trains to Fife will have to change at Haymarket in Edinburgh.
The disruption also coincides with a four-week closure in June of the Glasgow Subway, which has an interchange with Queen Street Station.
Transport minister Derek Mackay said: “Although I understand this work will cause some inconvenience to passengers, the ScotRail Alliance is working to ensure services are maintained where possible, disruption is kept to a minimum and passengers are kept well informed throughout the work.”
Phil Verster, managing director of the ScotRail Alliance, said: “Every day, tens of thousands of people travel through the station on their way to work, to college or university or to visit friends. People will still be able to do that while the tunnel is closed – the railway is still very much open for business.
“Upgrading the tunnel will allow us to run faster, longer, greener trains in the future. This will mean more seats, shorter journey times and less impact on our environment. The long term benefits of this investment will be considerable, not just for our railway, but also for the country.”
Changes to services
Arbroath / Dundee / Perth – Glasgow
Some of these services will use Glasgow Queen Street, others Glasgow Central, depending on where the journey originates. Customers should check their journeys in advance so they know their arrival station. Some services that currently terminate at Dunblane will be extended to Perth during the tunnel closure, providing additional options for customers in the Perth area.
Edinburgh – Glasgow (normally via Falkirk High
- Fastest option: Customers travelling ‘end to end’ between Edinburgh and Glasgow should use the route via Bathgate and Airdrie, which will have four trains per hour throughout the day, taking around 70 minutes. Almost every train on this route will be the maximum six carriages. Customers travelling end to end between Glasgow and Edinburgh should aim to travel on these alternative routes between 7am and 7pm each day.
- Diverted option: Customers who travel from Linlithgow, Polmont, Falkirk High and Croy will follow a diverted route to and from Glasgow Queen Street Low Level. Two trains per hour for all except Croy which will have four. This is a reduction for Falkirk High customers from four to two. Journeys will take approximately 25 minutes longer. Note: ‘end to end’ customers may also use this route but it is not recommended.
- Other options: Two trains per hour go via Shotts/Carstairs to Glasgow Central taking between 1hr 18m and 1hr 31m. There is also one train every two hours between Glasgow Central and Edinburgh via Motherwell and Carstairs, with a journey time between 1hr and 1hr 10m.
Stirling / Alloa / Dunblane / Larbert – Glasgow
Customers will have a half hourly service to both Edinburgh and Glasgow. Monday- Saturday, customers from these areas will be diverted into and out of Glasgow Queen St Low Level. Journeys will take approx. 25 minutes longer.
The following two routes are combined during the tunnel closure to give a new, hourly Falkirk Grahamston – Anniesland service via Cumbernauld and Springburn.
Falkirk Grahamston / Cumbernauld – Glasgow
Falkirk Grahamston customers should change at Cumbernauld or Springburn for a connection to Glasgow.
Cumbernauld / Greenfaulds / Stepps / Gartcosh customers – Glasgow will be reduced to two services per hour all day (normally three) – one direct and one requiring a change at Springburn.
Customers are advised to use the ScotRail app or the journey planner on the ScotRail website to work out what works best for them.
Anniesland – Glasgow (via Maryhill)
Reduced to hourly – normally has two trains per hour all day. Passengers from Ashfield, Possilpark and Parkhouse, Gilshochill, Summerston, Maryhill and Kelvindale will have a choice to make (Mon-Sat):
- travel west towards Anniesland (hourly service) – changing trains there – to reach Glasgow Queen Street; or
- catch an eastbound train towards Falkirk Grahamston, changing trains at Springburn for Glasgow Queen St Low Level.
Customers are advised to carefully check which journey opportunity gives them a shorter journey.
On Sundays, services between Anniesland and Glasgow Queen Street will terminate and start from Ashfield. Passengers travelling to Glasgow Queen Street from Ashfield, Possilpark and Parkhouse, Gilshochill, Summerston, Maryhill and Kelvindale should travel west to Anniesland and change trains to reach Glasgow Queen Street.
Note: FirstGlasgow operates several buses in the Anniesland area, and customers may wish to check if using these buses will offer a quicker journey.
Fife – Glasgow
Two services each day currently operate directly between Fife and Glasgow. During the tunnel closure a change at Haymarket will be required:
0713 Kirkcaldy – Glasgow Queen Street – runs to Haymarket only
1733 Glasgow Queen Street – Markinch – cancelled
Mallaig / Fort William / Oban (and intermediate stations) – Glasgow
Services will use Glasgow Queen Street Low Level and take around 25 minutes longer. As these are ‘through’ platforms rather than at the end of a line, the time for getting on and off the train will be limited. Additional staff will be provided to help customers with luggage, cycles etc. Seat reservations and catering will continue to be provided.
Croy – Glasgow
Almost all trains from/to Stirling or Falkirk High direction will call at Croy on virtually the same frequency of four trains per hour to Glasgow and a half hourly service to Edinburgh and stations to Stirling. However, journeys will take approx. 25 minutes longer.
Bishopbriggs/ Lenzie – Glasgow
Large numbers travel between Bishopbriggs / Lenzie – Glasgow. Trains to / from Stirling, Dunblane and Alloa will continue to call at both stations every half hour. However an additional journey time of 25 minutes may make trains a less attractive option. A further factor is that peak time ‘additional’ services cannot be accommodated during the tunnel closure. Given this situation, ScotRail is working with local bus operators to run additional service buses at peak times during the tunnel closure. This will offer journey times of under 20 minutes. More details will be shared as soon as the timetables are finalised.
Helensburgh/Milngavie – Glasgow Queen St Low Level – Edinburgh
During the tunnel closure there will be new journey opportunities, different stopping patterns and fewer peak services. The average journey time between Edinburgh and Glasgow on this route will be 70 minutes. The actual number of seats in the peak remains the same as now – the carriages are redistributed in a different way.
Other timetable alterations
A consequence of the tunnel closure is the need to reduce the number of local services in the west of the city. Some services will have minor alterations and re-timings on North Clyde routes, as will services that operate via Glasgow Central Low level (Argyle line). This is to accommodate the additional diverted services operating between Bellgrove/Queen Street Low Level and Anniesland. Two services per hour which normally run to/from Dalmuir via Yoker each hour will now start and finish at Anderston. Dalmuir – Cumbernauld services are extended to Dumbarton Central and one of these per hour will terminate at Springburn. By doing this, peak specials will not operate.
For Strathclyde area stations we have worked with commercial operators (FirstGlasgow and Stagecoach) to ensure customers continue to have choices in how they travel. ScotRail has also conducted research at key stations to check how and when customers travel. In most instances, the existing scheduled bus services have sufficient capacity to accommodate those who wish to switch to buses during the tunnel closure. Note: see Bishopbriggs and Lenzie.
Scale of the tunnel works
The planned engineering improvements, announced in 2014, are needed to address the deteriorating condition of the existing track – caused by a combination of the high number of trains using the infrastructure and by water infiltration.
During the 20-week closure, engineers will work around the clock to renew the two lines of track through the 918m-long tunnel. To do this they will need to remove 10,000 tonnes of concrete slab-track, install 1,800m of new slab-track and 4,000m of rails.
Separate to this work engineers will also take the opportunity to install equipment to carry the overhead power lines needed for the electrification of the railway as part of the Scottish Government’s £742m Edinburgh Glasgow Improvement Programme.
ScotRail’s £475m train improvement plan
In December 2016 the ScotRail Alliance announced its largest-ever train improvement programme – pledging to deliver thousands of extra seats, new trains, improved accessibility and enhanced facilities such as at-seat power points and better wifi.
ScotRail will spend £475 million on the programme over the next seven years. This will see 75% of its train fleet either new or fully refurbished.
During the next three years:
- 180 carriages will be added to the fleet – bringing the total to almost 1,000
- Two-thirds of current ScotRail trains will be refurbished by 2018
- More than 17,000 at-seat power points will be added to trains
- 346 more trains will be equipped with free wifi
- And seven Class 320 trains will be introduced in Scotland from early 2016.