Network Rail is reminding passengers to expect disruption to journeys this weekend as engineers complete the latest phase in a £114m upgrade to signalling systems across Lanarkshire.
The Motherwell North Signalling Renewal (MNSR) project is replacing track side equipment and transferring control of systems from Motherwell Signalling Centre to the West of Scotland Signalling Centre in Glasgow.
Delivered over several phases, the investment is replacing outdated signalling and telecoms systems, improving reliability and safety for passengers as well as introducing greater capability into the network so more trains can run.
The first phase of work – covering the Newton, Hamilton and Uddingston areas – was completed at Easter 2017 while Easter 2018 saw new signalling systems activated in Mossend, Coatbridge and Whifflet – with these earlier phases of work are already delivering improved signalling reliability in the areas concerned.
Work this month; the third and most complex phase of commissioning to date, will see major renewals across North Lanarkshire (Motherwell, Holytown and Wishaw) and will also include Carluke and Lanark as well as the strategically important West Coast Mainline.
It is anticipated services will return to normal for the majority of routes on Monday, August 27, however buses will continue to replace trains on the Edinburgh to Glasgow Central via Shotts line until Thursday, August 30. More extensive work is required on this route to enhance the signalling systems ahead of the electrification of the line by March 2019
Steve Muirhead, route asset manager for signalling in Scotland, said: “Improved signalling technology means more reliable journeys with fewer delays and increased capacity so more trains can run and more people are able to travel on the railway across Scotland.
“This weekend we will carry out the complex commissioning work needed to ‘re-control’ the signals, to move control from the 1970’s signalling centre at Motherwell to our state-of-the-art centre in Glasgow – which is a massive undertaking.
“We are working closely with the various train operators to make sure that passengers are able to get to where they need to be during this period but its really important that people plan journeys in advance during these dates to ensure they get the right information.”
Passengers are being encouraged to check before they travel and more information can be found at www.nationalrail.co.uk and for local services www.scotrail.co.uk