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Glasgow Central Trains Back to Normal

Glasgow Central StationOn Monday, thousands of rail passengers were left stranded when rush-hour services from Glasgow Central Station were cancelled due to a signal problem. Most services were shut down for over three hours at the busiest train station in Scotland, during what is usually the busiest time of the morning. Services have since returned to normal, however.

The problem was detected with the signals at 7:30am and nearly all high-level services from the station were cancelled after that. The incident couldn’t have happened at a worse time, as thousands of people were returning to work after Easter holiday. Among the services unable to leave the stations included those to London, East Kilbride, Edinburgh and Kilmarnock.

London services operated by Virgin Trains had to be switched to start and end at Motherwell station due to the problem. ScotRail was urging rush-hour commuters to adjust their travel arrangements, while CrossCountry services in and out of Glasgow Central were delayed up to one hour. The key routes affected during the issue were Edinburgh-Glasgow via Shotts, EAst Kilbride, Cathcart, Kilmarnock, Newton, Barrhead, Neilston and Circle. Inverclyde and Ayrshire trains had to begin and end at Paisley Gilmour Street. Network Rail Scotland route managing director David Simpson said that they were on site within ten minutes and were working to repair the problem.

A spokeswoman for ScotRail said that they launched an information offensive as soon as the signalling problems began to affect their services. This included alerts to television and radio for early morning travel bulletins and at least eight live radio interviews. Full details of the disruption could be found on their website as well. They are really focusing on handling disruptions, with recent initiatives ranging from providing over 800 train staff with smartphones to give them real-time information and improved information via its website and JourneyAlert service. They had additional staff on the ground to help customers and organised replacement services wherever they could. They apologise for the affected journeys as a result of circumstances beyond their control, she added.

It took several hours for engineers to even find where the intermittent shortage of power was coming from. The problem affected the signals and meant that they were unsafe. Network Rail engineers finally determined where the issue was – a power cable in the Polmadie area. By 10:30am, they had the problem fixed. However, there was a backlog of services by then due to all the cancellations that had to be made over the three hours. This led to even more delays and cancellations. It took until late afternoon for services to be finally restored and back to normal, though some information screens were listing delayed or cancelled services.

This follows services at Glasgow Queen Street and Charing Cross being disrupted less than a fortnight ago due to a fallen power line. Engineers worked around the clock to fix the fault, which closed the low level platforms for 24 hours. Rail bosses had to evacuate Charing Cross and reduce journeys between Ballock and Airdrie, Helensburgh and Edinburgh, and Milngavie and Edinburgh. After nearly a mile of overhead line was replaced, Network Rail confirmed services were back to normal on these routes.

 

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