Queen Street Tunnel Renewal

Glasgow Queen Street approach tunnel closed between the 20th March and 8th August 2016.

This is enabled major engineering to renew more than 1800m of concrete 'slab' track which carries the rails trhough the tunnel.

As this was the only means of access to Queen Street High Level station, inevitably this had implications for the operation of train services across central Scotland and to/from the north and north west. Glasgow Queen Street High Level station effectively closed for 20 weeks

This work caused inconvenience to journeys for those who lived in the surrounding community as this was a major piece of engineering within the difficult confines of a tunnel environment.

Strategic Investment

The installation of the new slab with modern specification has a design life of 60 years without future major intervention. 

The structure’s current condition and even given the 20 week installation, a prompt, full and long term renewal of the tunnel fabric benefits passengers in terms of minimising future disruption and benefits tax payers in terms of it being a very efficient whole-life cost solution.

 Queen Street Tunnel PORR slab

Plan Your Journey

What we were doing

We needed to close Queen Street Tunnel to allow for the safe delivery of the renewal of slab track within the tunnel.  This was the lagest piece of engineering undertaken on the E&G since the railway was built. Renewing more than 1800m of slab will involve:

  • 140 days of continuous round the clock working
  • in excess of 150 staff everyday
  • more than 1/2 million man hours
  • removal of 10,000 tonnes of existing concrete slab
  • installation of 4000m of new rails

As well as installing a slab track system we put in place the infrastructure that will carry the overhead electrification system through the tunnel as part of the EGIP electrification.

Local residents and lineside neighbours were made aware that work will be continuous 24-7 working for the full 20 week programme.  

View timelapse - 'Half way there' marking 10 weeks work in the tunnel

When are we doing it?

The work took place from 20th March – 8th August. Engineers will be working 24hrs a day throughout this 20 week period.

Why are we doing it?

The existing concrete slab track within the tunnel had been in place for 40 years and due to the impact of continuous use and the effects of water infiltration, was starting to significantly degrade.

The proposed electrification of the line through the tunnel heightened the need for the work as the faster speeds achieved by electric trainshave the potential to accelerate the deterioration of the slab.

Download the Queen Street Tunnel Community Leaflet 


Grouting PORR slabs in Queen Street Tunnel

What it meant for journeys ?

During closure of the tunnel there were alterations to any service that normally terminated at Glasgow Queen Street High Level station:

  • Edinburgh – via Falkirk High
  • Edinburgh - via Airdrie / Bathgate 
  • Alloa/Dunblane/Stirling
  • Fife 
  • Aberdeen / Inverness /Perth
  • Arbroath / Dundee / Perth
  • Fort William / Oban / Mallaig
  • Croy / Bishopbriggs / Lenzie
  • Falkirk Grahamston / Cumbernauld
  • Anniesland (via Maryhill)
  • Helensburgh/Milngavie

Throughout these works we kept people informed.

We understood the impact this work had on journeys and updated passengers and station users throughout the work.

Now these works are complete we beleive the long term benefits to passengers out-weighed this period of disruption.

Concrete being poured from Cathedral Street for station platforms