Kilmarnock-Dumfries rail line shut for two weeks

A RAIL line will remain closed for two weeks while engineers remove 18 derailed freight wagons after a crash between two trains.

The rail line linking Kilmarnock and Dumfries will be closed for a fortnight following a major crash on Saturday which derailed 18 carriages. Picture: Network Rail

The freight trains collided between Cumnock and Kilmarnock in East Ayrshire on Saturday as engineering works were being carried out. No-one was injured in the incident.

Network Rail said engineers need to build a temporary access road and then bring in a 1,000-ton crane to lift the wagons back on to the line.

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It will take about 10 days to assemble the crane and remove the wagons, then an estimated three days to repair significant track damage caused by the collision.

Train services between Glasgow Central and Carlisle, via Dumfries, are suspended between Kilmarnock and Dumfries, with Auchinleck, New Cumnock, Kirkconnel and Sanquhar stations being served by replacement buses.

ScotRail customers travelling between Glasgow and Carlisle can use their tickets on TransPennine Express and Virgin Trains’ west coast mainline services.

David Dickson, infrastructure director for the ScotRail Alliance, said: “Every effort is being made to recover the line and restore a full service for passengers as quickly as possible.

“Our engineers will be working around-the-clock to remove the derailed wagons and repair the damaged track beneath.

“This is a very complex operation and we will need to build an access road for a 1,000tn crane, which will then have to be built on site before we can remove the wagons and repair the track.

“We understand the inconvenience this incident has caused passengers and replacement buses are in operation to serve the stations affected by the recovery works.”

The derailment occurred when two ballast trains bringing materials into a track renewals site collided near Cumnock.