Vital upgrades for West Highland Line

Network Rail engineers will be delivering upgrade and refurbishment works on the West Highland Line this October.

The line will be closed between Crianlarich and Fort William from Saturday, October 5, until start of service on Monday, October 14, to allow the vital engineering works to take place.

During the week-long line closure, engineers will be working around-the-clock to refurbish bridges and renew under-track drainage systems on the line.

Bridges near Spean Bridge and Corrour will be refurbished and repainted, while the Auch (Horseshoe) Viaduct near Bridge of Orchy will have its timber deck renewed and its metalwork repaired and repainted.

Drainage culverts beneath the track between Tyndrum Upper and Bridge of Orchy will also be upgraded.

Due to the complexity and volume of the engineering work and the heavy machinery involved, these upgrades cannot be delivered without the short-term closure of the line.

Buses will replace trains between Crianlarich and Fort William during this time and will call at the majority of stations along the route, apart from Corrour and Rannoch where no suitable road access is available.

Lindsay Saddler, head of maintenance for Network Rail Scotland, said: “We need to carry out vital works at several points on the West Highland Line during this time.

“One of these jobs will be refurbishing the Auch Viaduct which involves lifting the track so we can replace the wooden deck underneath. The metalwork on the structure will also be repaired and repainted.

“Elsewhere, we’ll be renewing and rebuilding drainage culverts under the line, which given the recent weather, is an important task.

“These are significant and complex pieces of work and it is simply not possible to complete them without closing the line for a short time.

“We understand the inconvenience engineering works can cause to some customers and always try to deliver significant projects like these outwith the peak tourist seasons. We do though apologise to anyone whose plans are impacted by this closure.”