HOGMANAY revelers face the chaos of travel as railway engineering works close the main route to Edinburgh from Glasgow on New Years Eve – and close a main line to England the next day.
All lines will be closed between Glasgow Central and Motherwell from December 27-31 – preventing ScotRail, LNER and CrossCountry services from operating on the line.
This means that the smaller Queen Street line in Edinburgh – used only by ScotRail – is overcrowded.
Glasgow Central passengers are expected to be forced to board replacement buses to transport them to Motherwell.
On New Years Day, the main line from the west coast from Glasgow to England will also be affected by major disruptions.
Avanti West Coast and TransPennine Express services will only run south of Carlisle, with buses operating in Scotland instead of trains.
The train disruption is a big blow to many people who want to celebrate Hogmanay with their loved ones across the country.
With most Christmas and New Years celebrations massively reduced due to coronavirus restrictions last winter, thousands of Scots are planning to make up for it this holiday season.
But many passengers are unaware they will be affected by construction – as the closures have yet to be added to the schedules of the national railroad inquiries.
Further train trips are expected to be made during the holiday fortnight as families enjoy an extra-special Christmas this year, after household mixing was banned or reduced in many areas by Covid rules from 2020.
But passenger groups have said the festive engineering schedule could be even more important than Christmas work packages before the pandemic.
The rail closures include work moved this Christmas by Covid curbs preventing some projects from happening last Christmas and during the May holidays.
Rail Delivery Group, which represents rail companies, reported a “considerable amount of engineering work” this Christmas.
Network Rail, about to officially announce the work, urged passengers to plan ahead and said 95% of the rail network would not be affected by the projects.
Tens of millions of pounds will be spent on Christmas rail projects across the UK, and up to 20,000 engineers are expected to be called in.
FEARS OF FESTIVE TRAVEL
Bruce Williamson, spokesperson for Railfuture activists, said: âThere is a significant work package scheduled this Christmas, and it would not be surprising if this is the largest amount of work in several years.
âThe Covid restrictions last Christmas affected Network Rail’s ability to bring together work teams, but removing the restrictions means more work can be done this Christmas.
âThe work must be clearly communicated to passengers, so that they are informed of schedule changes well in advance and their inconvenience is minimized.
“But passengers should remember that the end result will be a better railroad, and Christmas is the best time to do work because the number of passengers is lower than at other times of the year.”