Countdown begins to Queen Street Tunnel upgrades

Communications Director Rob Shorthouse (left) along with Train Crew Supervisor Jack Carden
Communications Director Rob Shorthouse (left) along with Train Crew Supervisor Jack Carden

At the start of the last working week before upgrades inside Queen Street Tunnel, customers are being urged to check how their journeys will change for the next five months.

The tunnel is being upgraded to allow faster, longer, greener trains to run between Edinburgh and Glasgow. During the work, diversions will mean most journeys take around 25 minutes longer. Customers should arrive ten minutes early at Queen Street station, where there will be queuing systems to board Low Level trains.

Queen Street Station.

Queen Street Station.

To add extra capacity to the network, three Class 320 electric trains have entered service in Scotland for the first time this week. These are the first of seven such trains moving north of the border in the next few months — adding 21 extra carriages and more than 14,000 extra seats to the ScotRail fleet.

A special website has been set up to make sure that customers have all the information they need to make choices about their journey: www.scotrail.co.uk/QueenStreetTunnel

Rob Shorthouse, Communications Director at the ScotRail Alliance said: “We are just days away from the start of the biggest, most important improvement to Scotland’s rail network for many years. The upgrade work at Queen Street Tunnel allows us to run faster, longer greener electric trains in the future. This will mean more seats, shorter journey times and reduce our impact on the environment.

“We have spent the last few weeks doing everything we can to make sure customers understand the changes to journeys that are necessary. However, with just a few days left, we are urging anyone who has not yet planned how they will travel for the next five months to do so. Trains are running, we are open for business. However, some services are being diverted and journey times will take longer than normal.

“The refurbished trains that we have brought into service this week will provide extra capacity on the network during the closure. This will allow us to add extra carriages and make sure that we have enough trains – and enough seats – to keep people moving. Alongside our largest-ever Train Improvement Programme, this is another important step in our efforts to transform Scotland’s railway.”

Please note:

1. Queen Street Tunnel will be closed for 20 weeks commencing this Sunday. During this time, trains will be diverted to either Queen Street Low Level or Glasgow Central Station.

2. The website www.scotrail.co.uk/QueenStreetTunnel gives access to full information about all the changes and has timetables and interactive maps that help explain the amendments.

3. A one-way queueing system will be in operation at Queen Street Station throughout the duration of the works. Full details are is available at www.scotrail.co.uk/QueenStreetTunnel. Customers are advised to turn up at least 10 minutes before their train is due to leave Glasgow Queen Street during the works.

4. A total of seven new Class 320 electric trains will be coming to Scotland over the course of the next few months. The three that have entered service will allow us to strengthen services across the electrified network during the Queen Street Tunnel works.