Six Day, £1.9 million Stranraer Line Upgrade Complete

Network Rail has completed a six-day, £1.9 million upgrade of the Stranraer line.

The project involved replacing more than 1km of track at Laggansarroch viaduct, near Girvan, including the use of 200 recycled plastic (composite) sleepers over the structure itself.

It’s part of efforts to help Network Rail in its aim to achieve a net zero carbon target by 2035.

As well as the composite sleepers, engineers used 1800 steel sleepers, 1500 tonnes of ballast (stone which supports the track) and 2km of new rails during the work.

At Kilkeran, 650m of new track drainage was also installed during the project.

With the line closed due to the ongoing demolition of the former Station Hotel at Ayr, a 65-tonne tamper –
a machine used to maintain tracks – was brought in by road and lifted onto the railway at Stranraer using a 500-tonne crane.

That crane was also used to lift two of ScotRail’s trains onto lorries, allowing them to return to their depot in Glasgow for vital maintenance.

Gerry McQuade, capital delivery director at Network Rail Scotland said: “The work we’ve carried out on the Stranraer line will help to keep trains moving during periods of extreme rainfall and bring smoother journeys for passengers. A huge thanks to everyone for coming up with an innovative solution to carry out the work, and for working around the clock for six days to complete the job.”
Craig Barclay, operations director at Rail Systems Alliance Scotland said: “I’m pleased our alliance between Network Rail, Babcock International and Arcadis was able to devise a new plan to complete this vital work, given the ongoing closure of the railway at Ayr, and also assist ScotRail in returning their two Class 156 trains to Corkerhill depot for vital maintenance.”