GLASGOW’S rail line between Rutherglen and Exhibition Centre has reopened today following a £32 million improvement project.
Network Rail successfully completed works on the Argyle Line on time, following an £32 million improvement project.
The organisation described it as the ‘most significant piece of engineering on the line in a generation’, with it coming to improve punctuality and reliability for passengers ‘for years to come’.
Engineers removed 500 tonnes of concrete encasement from the tunnels, with 700 structural beams repainted and more than 1,000 square metres of waterproofing applied.
Jenny Gilruth, transport minister, said, “Passengers will undoubtedly welcome the news that this particular programme of work and its associated closures have come to an end. I’d like to thank them for their patience throughout, particularly users of Anderston station. I would also like to thank all of the staff at Network Rail and ScotRail who have facilitated these improvements, delivering them on time and within budget.
“The Scottish Government has provided £32m of funding for this work and will continue to significantly invest in rail infrastructure and services in Scotland which helps us to attract passengers back to rail. It is vital that we deliver reliable infrastructure and do so in a manner that minimises the impact of disruption to passengers and freight.
“Any project of this scale brings with it a number of challenges but at the same time also delivers significant improvements to Scotland’s Railway for passengers, including a reduction in the need for future disruption arising from any future works.”
Jeremy Spence, programme manager, Network Rail, added, “I am pleased that this major programme of work to the Argyle line has been completed both on time and within budget. The complexity of a project that covers multiple work sites, involves a range of disciplines, not to mention the mobilisation of plant and equipment, is not without significant challenges.
“It’s a credit to the Network Rail project team, our contractors and supply chain partners that every element was delivered safely and on time. The outcome is a comprehensive programme of improvements and enhancements that future-proof Scotland’s Railway for passengers, as work on this scale will not be required for many years to come.
“Closing part of our infrastructure is something done rarely, as we fully appreciate the impact of this on our customers. Our decision was weighed against whether it was best to complete the work over an intense period of time by closing the line completely or prolong it over many months by only being able to undertake work at weekends.
“I would like to thank all the passengers whose travel plans have been affected for their patience and understanding over the past eight weeks.”
The Argyle line project includes improvements to Anderston station, with the closure of the station extended by four weeks until June 6. Network Rail said this is to allow engineers to complete critical work on the entrance, booking office, concourse and platforms.
It added that, by extending the closure, the most critical work will be finished earlier and reduces the overall time taken to renovate the station by 12 weeks, completing in the autumn instead of by December 2022.
Once complete, the station will feature a lift for better customer access, a remodelled booking office and modern finishes on the stairs, floors and ceilings. This also includes improving the outside area to the station, with a new-look glazed entrance and enhanced external lighting.