Avanti West Coast Pendolino Glasgow-2

Avanti West Coast advises customers to check before travelling during next phase of major upgrade work in Scotland

Avanti West Coast reminds customers to check before they travel ahead of second phase of major upgrade work in Scotland.

  • Second phase of Network Rail’s upgrade work at Carstairs brings changes to Avanti West Coast’s services for five weeks from 20 March
  • No direct trains to and from Glasgow and Edinburgh, longer journey times and rail replacement services at weekends, when the West Coast Main Line remains closed
  • Customers strongly advised to plan their journey and check before they travel

Avanti West Coast is reminding customers making journeys to and from Scotland to check before they travel while Network Rail carry out upgrade work.

On weekdays from Monday 20 March until Friday 21 April, there will be changes to the intercity operator’s services to Glasgow and Edinburgh, while Network Rail deliver the second phase of their work to modernise Carstairs Junction. Direct trains to and from Glasgow will be diverted between Carlisle and Glasgow, extending journey times by 45 minutes. Avanti West Coast will have no direct trains to Edinburgh.

Throughout these five weeks, the West Coast Main Line will remain closed near Carstairs at weekends – with no direct Avanti West Coast trains to Glasgow and Edinburgh.

On Saturdays and Sundays during this period, trains will operate between London and Carlisle, where connections into rail replacement services to Glasgow and Edinburgh will be available. A limited rail service will also operate on most weekends between Carlisle and Glasgow via Dumfries. As a result, journeys between Carlisle and Glasgow will take approximately 75 minutes longer.

Any customers travelling during this period are strongly advised to plan their journey, make a reservation, and check the Avanti West Coast website for the latest travel updates.

This is the latest phase of a three-month programme of work by Network Rail, which will see trains diverted, longer journey times to Glasgow and Edinburgh, and buses replace trains at weekends until early June.  

The work is part of a £164m Scottish Government investment to modernise Carstairs Junction for passenger and freight services – making it more reliable and able to better cope with the demands of the future.

Over the Easter weekend (Friday 7 – Monday 10 April), there will be further changes to journeys as Network Rail will carry out essential improvement and engineering work across multiple sections of the West Coast Main Line.

Barry Milsom, Executive Director of Operations at Avanti West Coast said: “With the next phase of Network Rail’s major upgrade work at Carstairs due to begin on Monday 20 March, we’d like to thank our customers for their continued patience and remind them to check before they travel, as there’ll be further changes to Scottish services for another five weeks. We strongly advise customers plan their journey, as well as visit the Avanti West Coast website for the latest updates.”

Further travel advice for journeys to and from Glasgow and Edinburgh between March and June is available at: https://www.avantiwestcoast.co.uk/travel-information/plan-your-journey/planned-engineering-works/carstairs-modernisation-project


Contact Information

Laura Normansell

Avanti West Coast


Notes to editors

Network Rail’s work to upgrade Carstairs Junction will take place across three phases between Saturday 4 March – Sunday 4 June. The attached graphic outlines the impact to Avanti West Coast services during each phase. 

Due to strike action by the RMT Union on 30 March and 1 April, there’ll be further changes to Avanti West Coast’s timetable on these days. To find out how this will affect journeys, visit: https://www.avantiwestcoast.co.uk/travel-information/strike  

For information about Carstairs Junction Remodelling, visit: https://scotlandsrailway.com/projects/carstairs-modernisation

For information engineering work over Easter and the impact to Avanti West Coast services, visit: https://www.avantiwestcoast.co.uk/travel-information/plan-your-journey/planned-engineering-works/easter-engineering-work

About Avanti West Coast   

Avanti West Coast, operator of intercity rail services on the West Coast Main Line, is a joint venture between FirstGroup and Trenitalia, delivering a cleaner, greener railway that drives the West Coast forward.

We’re on a mission to revolutionise train travel. Our refurbed Pendolinos are returning to the rails, with a £117m investment that’s delivering best in class comfort. Rebuilt using sustainable materials wherever possible, including tables made from recycled plastic bottles, our upgraded fleet offers 25,000 brand new seats, free Wi-Fi, onboard recycling and much more.

New Hitachi trains are set to replace our Voyager trains from 2023, leading to a 61% cut in carbon emissions. Quieter and roomier, with more reliable Wi-Fi, wireless charging for electrical devices and a real-time customer information system, the new 23-strong fleet is the result of a £350m investment in sustainable travel.

We’re tackling climate change wherever we can, from reducing energy and water use to training drivers in eco-driving techniques and sourcing food and drink from local suppliers. Our goal is to be net zero carbon by 2031. We’re on track.

For the latest news, visit the Avanti West Coast Media Centre: https://newsdesk.avantiwestcoast.co.uk/

Press Office: 0845 000 3333