Bridges to be rebuilt as part of East Kilbride electrification

Roger Smith - Contributor 5 comments 4 Min Read
Hairmyres Station // Credit: Network Rail

Work will start next week on upgrading three railway bridges in the Hairmyres area of in South Lanarkshire.

The work is in connection with the East Kilbride enhancement project, which is an £139.8m electrification project that forms part of the Government's investment to decarbonise passenger services. The East Kilbride enhancement project follows the recent electrification of the Glasgow to Barrhead line when electric Class 380 trains will be introduced to that route from next Monday, 11 December.

station: Credit:

To allow electrification of the lines, two bridges must be raised and re-decked to create the necessary space underneath them for the railway's overhead powerlines and one disused bridge will be demolished.

A bridge at Thornton Road will be completely replaced, with work starting next Monday, 11 December and lasting until 9 April 2024. During this time the bridge will be closed to traffic with a diversionary route in place.

Class 156 train at East Kilbride. // Credit: Thomas Nugent

Also starting next Monday, 11 December is work on a footbridge near to Hairmyres station and the nearby Eaglesham Court, which will require a diversion of the footpath until 21 February 2024.

The third bridge affected is near Thornton Farm, but that has not been for a number of years and will be demolished.

One of ScotRail's new Class 380 trains. // Credit: ScotRail

Important parts of the work will take place during the and New Year holiday period when there will also be 29-hour periods of continuous working:

  • Work to remove and replace Thornton Road bridge and the footbridge at Eaglesham Court will take place from 22:00 on 24 December until 07:00 on 26 December, with all work being completed before the resumption of train services on the morning of 26 December. However, passengers intending to travel on 26 December are advised to check for up-to-date service information.
  • Demolition of the bridge near Thornton Farm will take place from 22:00 on 31 December until 07:00 on 02 January.

Further information about the works can be obtained through Network Rail's 24-hour national helpline on 03457 11 41 41, whilst  progress updates will be posted on Twitter @NetworkRailScot or at

Gerry McQuade, Network Rail capital delivery director, said “The bridge works are the starting point for our two-year programme to deliver the East Kilbride enhancement project.

“After several months of planning, along with our contractor Story, the team's excited to be on the ground as the bridge works get underway.

“The three bridges are the first of several structures we'll be replacing or modifying along the line of route. This will allow the installation of the new overhead equipment that will power a greener and more reliable railway for our passengers and lineside neighbours.

“Given the scale of the engineering being delivered over the Christmas and New Year period and the road closure and footpath diversion in place, we fully appreciate the patience and support of the community during this time.”

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  • So they couldn’t erect the Hairmyres footpath in under 2 months? The most used footpath for those without cars? The only footpath that prevents you having to walk 2 miles around St James to get to the other side of East Kilbride? Get your building priorities straight. This is a disgrace.

  • A missed opportunity to reinstate the East Mains & Nerston alignment, however underused (by coal traffic) the onward stretches were. Still, who knows what Clyde Metro’s exoansion to EK may re-utilise?

  • Sounds to good to be true, but I would probably think scotrail should invest in more money to buy new rolling stock, but keep the incredibly aging 318s and 320s and put them as bi-mode trains. The 385s, 380s, 320s and 318s could be used on the EK line.

  • Sounds good to electrify the East Kilbride branch line and to allow Class 380 EMUs to operate on the branch line. Maybe ScotRail should invest more money to buy new trains to replace the aging electric trains (Class 318 and Class 320 EMUs). Or Hitachi could of carried on with the mass production of the Class 385 Commuter train that would of been used on the Barrhead and East Kilbride services.

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