ScotRail: Flood damaged West Coast Mainline & RMT rail strikes spell trouble for Glasgow train passengers

January spells trouble for Glasgow train passengers with flood damage closing part of the West Coast Mainline and rail strikes continuing into 2023.
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Rail passengers in Glasgow are in for a week of misery as they return to work on Tuesday (January 3) after the festive break, with ongoing rail strikes and recent flooding damaging part of the West Coast Mainline.

Network Rail has announced no trains will run between Carlisle and Glasgow until Friday (January 6), after an embankment beneath the railway was “significantly damaged” during extreme weather on December 30 and “extensive work” is needed to repair the track foundations before it can fully reopen.

The company said engineers are working to remove landslip material from a 40m-long portion of the line as part of the repair work and to reinforce it with more than 200 tonnes of fresh stone. They will then re-lay the track above and inspect the signalling systems, which they said would take a few days to complete.

A Network Rail spokesperson said: “Flooding has caused significant damage beneath the track and we will need to rebuild the supporting embankment before re-opening the line. This is a very challenging project, but we understand the inconvenience of closing the line will cause customers and are working hard to reopen the railway as quickly as we can.”

An Avanti West Coast spokesperson said: “While our colleagues at Network Rail are working hard to reopen the affected parts of the line damaged by the landslip caused by extreme weather, our advice to customers is not to travel to and from Scotland on the West Coast Mainline.

“Customers are being advised not to travel north of Carlisle as there are no services. An amended timetable is in place between Carlisle and London Euston. Customers travelling south of Carlisle are strongly advised to check their journey before they travel. We thank our customers for their patience in what are very challenging circumstances.”

Passengers planning to travel between Glasgow/Edinburgh and Carlisle should check their journey before travelling with Network Rail or with their individual train operator. And if they are no longer able to travel, they can claim a full fee-free refund from where the ticket is purchased.

Disruptions coincide with ongoing rail strikes

The disruptions coincide with the ongoing rail strikes set to affect ScotRail services, as Network Rail members will walk out on January 3, 4, 6 and 7 over unresolved disputes concerning pay, jobs and work conditions. Commuters are urged to check routes ahead of time to ensure trains are still running.

ommuters face more travel misery as railway workers launch a fresh strike (Photo: Getty Images)ommuters face more travel misery as railway workers launch a fresh strike (Photo: Getty Images)
ommuters face more travel misery as railway workers launch a fresh strike (Photo: Getty Images)

Even though ScotRail employees are not participating in the strike action held by RMT, it will have a substantial impact on services as many striking Network Rail employees hold safety-critical positions. The operator has confirmed the bulk of their routes will not operate for the duration of the strike.

ScotRail will operate 12 services between 7.30am and 6.30pm on all strike dates and January 5. The trains will travel along lines in the central belt, Fife, and the Borders. ScotRail services were impacted by a strike by RMT members last week, with no trains running from Christmas Eve to December 27.