Avanti West Coast Pendolino Glasgow-2

Avanti West Coast reminds customers to plan their journeys ahead of major upgrade work in Scotland

Customers advised to plan journeys and check before travelling ahead of 16-day closure of West Coast Main Line in Scotland. 

  • Major upgrade work at Carstairs to close West Coast Main Line for 16 days
  • No direct trains to and from Glasgow and Edinburgh, longer journey times and rail replacement services while Network Rail deliver programme of work   
  • Customers strongly advised to plan their journey and check before they travel

Avanti West Coast is reminding customers to plan their journeys while the West Coast Main closes for 16 days in March, as Network Rail carry out upgrade work in Scotland.

From Saturday 4 until Sunday 19 March, the intercity operator will have no direct trains to Glasgow and Edinburgh, while Network Rail deliver work to modernise Carstairs Junction.

During this period, Avanti West Coast’s trains will only operate between London and Carlisle where connections into rail replacement services to Glasgow and Edinburgh will be available. A limited rail service will operate between Carlisle and Glasgow, via Dumfries. As a result, journeys between Carlisle and Glasgow will take approximately 75 minutes longer.  

With a reduced timetable in place north of Carlisle, and rail replacement buses in operation, customers are strongly advised to plan their journey, make a reservation, and check the Avanti West Coast website for the latest updates before travelling.

The 16-day closure between 4 – 19 March is the first phase of a three-month programme of work by Network Rail, which will see trains diverted, buses replace trains, and longer journey times for services between Carlisle and Glasgow or Edinburgh until June.  

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

On Saturday 4, Sunday 5, and Sunday 12 March, Network Rail will also be completing essential railway improvements at Preston station. As a result, the West Coast Main Line will be closed at Preston and journeys between Wigan and Lancaster will involve a rail replacement service.

Barry Milsom, Executive Director of Operations at Avanti West Coast said: “This closure of the West Coast Main Line in Scotland will enable Network Rail to carry out the first phase of their major upgrade work at Carstairs. During this time, there’ll be no direct trains to or from Glasgow and Edinburgh for 16 days from Saturday 4 March and as a result, we’ll be operating a reduced timetable north of Carlisle. Rail replacement services will also be in place. We would like to thank our customers for their patience and strongly advise they plan their journey, as well as check the Avanti West Coast website for the latest updates before travelling.”

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

Press Desk

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.

Planned work by Network Rail at Preston on 4, 5 and 12 March will mean journeys to and from Preston will involve a rail replacement service. 

Due to strike action by the RMT Union on 16 and 18 March, 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

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