Viaduct open on schedule

Passengers are back on track on the Glasgow-Stranraer line after engineers completed vital works to stabilise the flood-damaged Laggansarroch Viaduct.

Engineers had been working around-the-clock at the structure, near Girvan, since January 9 after flood-waters from Storm Frank scoured out the riverbed beneath the viaduct’s concrete pier bases.

Work to stabilise the viaduct has been carried out in challenging weather conditions with heavy rainfall and rapidly rising river levels hampering engineers.

Phil Verster, managing director of the ScotRail Alliance, said: “This has been a very complex operation due to the location of the site and the unpredictably of the weather.

“Our engineers have been working as hard as they can through extreme conditions to reopen the line for our passengers.

“We appreciate the patience customers have shown during the disruption to their service and there was no way for us to repair the viaduct without a short-term closure of the line.”

Over the last 18 days, engineers have used tons of industrial grout to secure the viaduct’s second and third piers.

Over 300 tons of stone rock armour has also been installed around the base of the piers to protect the structure from future flooding and stop this happening again.

ScotRail said that although it meant a short closure it will be worth it for future generations in the long term if flooding continues.

To access the piers, engineers had to build a stone causeway over part of the River Stinchar while divers were deployed to assess the damage and carry out the repairs.

The site team also liaised with SEPA and local land owners throughout the work to minimise the environmental impact of the project.

Buses had been replacing trains between Girvan and Stranraer during the engineering works.