Queen Street Rail Disruption Begins
20 March 2016, 11:31
Rail commuters are advised to plan their trips and expect longer journey times as a major rail tunnel renovation got under way at Glasgow's Queen Street Station.
The station's high-level tunnel - which is used by the Edinburgh, Aberdeen and Stirling services - will be closed for five months to allow complex engineering work to take place.
Diversions caused by the work mean that most journeys will take around 25 minutes longer than usual.
Customers are urged to arrive 10 minutes earlier at the station, where queuing systems will be in operation during peak times.
Queues are also expected at other major stations, such as Glasgow Central and Edinburgh Waverley during busy periods.
The 20-week upgrade of the Queen Street tunnel is being carried out to allow faster, longer and greener trains run between Edinburgh and Glasgow and to replace ageing track through the kilometre-long structure.
Work inside the tunnel began on Sunday morning once it was closed.
Transport minister Derek Mackay inspected plans for the closure on Friday.
He said: ''They are absolutely necessary works. Of course there's the inevitable disruption we are trying to minimise. This is why we have put so many contingency plans in place.
''It's the tracks that are being upgraded and repaired, upgraded not for a few years but for a generation.``
He added: "The closure of the Queen Street station high-level tunnel marks a further significant milestone in our £5 billion programme of investment in Scotland's railways and will pave the way for the introduction of a new generation of electric trains for the central belt of Scotland.''
Train passengers are urged to visit the ScotRail website to familiarise themselves with the temporary layout of the station, and with the temporary timetables.
Officials warn that a number of services to and from places around Scotland will be affected by the work, not just services local to Glasgow.
John McBrinn, senior customer manager with the ScotRail Alliance, said their key message is for passengers to plan ahead and allow more time for their journey.
"All the information that people need is available on our website,'' he said.