Warning over disruption to train services

The Motherwell North Signalling Renewal project is replacing track side equipment and transferring control of systems from Motherwell Signalling Centre to the West of Scotland Signalling Centre in Glasgow. Pic: Network Rail
The Motherwell North Signalling Renewal project is replacing track side equipment and transferring control of systems from Motherwell Signalling Centre to the West of Scotland Signalling Centre in Glasgow. Pic: Network Rail

Network Rail is advising passengers to expect disruption from August 24-29 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Delivered over several phases, the investment is replacing outdated signalling and telecoms systems, which allow for greater capability on the network so more trains can run.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.

Work this month; the third and most complex phase of commissioning to date, will see major renewals across North Lanarkshire (Motherwell Holytown Wishaw) and include Carluke and Lanark as well as the strategically important West Coast Mainline.

Stephen 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.

“In August, we’ll carry out the complex commissioning work needed to ‘re-control’ the signals, to move control from the 1970s signalling centre at Motherwell to our state-of-the-art centre in Glasgow – which is a massive undertaking.

“While we appreciate the work in August will cause considerable disruption to services, the activities have been planned so that the best possible use can be made of diversionary routes. However, due to the complexity of the work this type of project can’t be delivered without some short-term disruption to services.

“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.”

There will also be disruption for weekend rail passengers in Lanarkshire over the next two months as improvement works continue every Sunday (plus the Saturdays August 25 and September 22) until October 14.

Services from Glasgow Central to the following destinations will be affected: Edinburgh Waverley (via Shotts and Carstairs), Lanark, Newton, Motherwell, Carstairs, Cumbernauld, Milngavie, Dalmuir, Larkhall, Balloch and Whifflet.

Services will be diverted via alternative routes, or run to different times from normal. In some cases, buses will replace trains for some or all of their journeys.

Plan your journey in advance and leave plenty of extra time for travel.

Full details of the disruption is available at scotrail.co.uk/railworks.