Tayside and Central Scotland

Glasgow to Oban rail route to reopen after flooding

Rail tracks Image copyright Network Rail
Image caption A section of the track was washed away north of Crianlarich

The West Highland railway line is due to reopen after severe flooding swept away part of the track.

The route which connects Glasgow with Oban and Mallaig has been shut since early August when heavy rain caused landslides.

The line was already closed due to landslips around Crianlarich and Tyndrum when more heavy rain caused flooding that overwhelmed drainage and blocked the line at Arrochar.

Engineers have completed the repairs.

The line will fully reopen for the start of service on Monday.

Strengthening embankments

Network Rail said it was a complex operation in a remote location that involved shifting 3,000 tones of rock.

Teams on the ground worked around-the-clock to repair the damaged sites - strengthening embankments and enhancing drainage where possible and rebuilding the track-bed before reinstating the railway.

Praising staff for finishing the work early, the company thanked passengers for their patience.

As work was carried out, travellers had to complete the route on replacement buses.

Image copyright Network Rail
Image caption The track near Oban was affected by extensive flooding

Transport Secretary Michael Matheson said: "The Network Rail team have been working on site just south of Crianlarich 24-hours-a-day in order to get the West Highland Mainline repaired and have had to bring in 3,000 tonnes of aggregate in what is a very difficult site to get access to.

"I want to thank the workforce who have put in a tremendous effort to get this work complete."

ScotRail managing director Alex Hynes said: "I am delighted that we are opening the West Highland Line earlier than first anticipated.

"This was a very complex series of repairs as we needed to reconstruct the slope beneath the line before repairing the tracks above. It was made even more challenging by the remote location but our teams have worked superbly well to get the job done safely."

The site south of Crianlarich is the last section of the line to complete repairs.

Sections north of Crianlarich to Oban re-opened on Monday 12 August and a landslip at Arrochar, to the south, was cleared and the line re-opened on Thursday 15 August.

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