Train services resumed running over Lamington Viaduct on Monday 22 February, following repair work to the structure, which was damaged by flooding on New Year’s Eve.
The first passenger train over the viaduct was the north-bound Caledonian sleeper service from London to Inverness at around 3:00am on Monday morning.
Works to repair and reopen the viaduct, on the West Coast Main Line, have finished two weeks ahead of the March reopening date that was previously announced. This follows an intensive seven-week engineering project to save the structure from collapse.
The Victorian-built viaduct had been severely weakened by flood damage and left close to falling into the River Clyde.
The viaduct’s second pier was left on the brink of failure when floodwater scoured out much of its foundations.
Engineers had to work round-the-clock to divert the River Clyde and stabilise the structure.
The incident also damaged the second pier’s steel bearings, which support the bridge-deck and track above the pier, a non-load-bearing section of the viaduct’s third pier and the structure’s north abutment.
Last weekend, engineers installed new steel bearings on the viaduct’s damaged second pier and constructed a new concrete plinth on the top of the pier to support them.
Engineers took advantage of a break in the weather conditions and the earlier than expected arrival of the new, custom-made bearings to accelerate the recovery programme.
Phil Verster, Managing Director of the ScotRail Alliance, said: “This project has been a hugely challenging one, involving working out in the Clyde through the worst of January’s storms in a race against time to save the structure.
“Our engineers have faced atrocious conditions throughout this project and I am really proud of their hard work and their absolute commitment to getting the line open again.
“I really do want to thank customers for their patience, and our industry partners for the close cooperation shown over the last two months. By working together we have been able to help limit disruption for passengers by providing diversionary routes for many of the affected services.”
First TransPennine Express Customer Service Director Kathryn O’Brien said: “We are delighted to see our services once again running between Scotland and England. This disruption has been a difficult time for our customers and I want to thank everyone for their patience while the repair works were carried out.
“Throughout the disruption we have put on more than 1,700 rail replacement coaches, required 9,000 staff hours, provided free refreshments, released 75,000 heavily discounted Advanced Purchase tickets and for one weekend we were able to offer an additional route from Newcastle to Edinburgh via the East Coast. It’s been a huge effort from all our staff who I know will be very excited to see these repair works now concluded and the line reopened.”