Review of 2007

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A review of what's happened on Scotland's railway network through 2007.

Operations and Services

Passenger Services
Freight Services
  • EWS are bought by DB on Date
  • Victa Westlink merge with Stobart Group and their train to Grangemouth stops running
  • Freightliner Heavy Haul start operating out of Chalmerston in Ayrshire
  • 1S03 05.20 Walsall-Aberdeen vans and 5D03 09.07 Aberdeen-Mossend empties ran for tha last time on 27th Feb 2007.
  • Westfield ceases to operate, with the last train on 23rd March.
  • Colas begins operating West Highland Line timber traffic from Arrochar and Crianlarich using hired-in Virgin 57/3s. First loaded train from Arrochar (to Chirk) on 3rd April.
  • The short-term 6P29/6P30 Millerhill - Carlisle Freightliner Heavy Haul Ballast working between May and the 27th July.
  • The Mossend to Aberdeen Enterprise service, 6A30 and 6D83, ceases to run from the 9th December, instead running as 6A30 Mossend to Laurencekirk and 6D83 return with the pipe train. The Waterloo tanks formed a new service, 6A31 Mossend to Waterloo and 6D84 return.
Rolling Stock Maintenance
  • Sale of Glasgow Works by Alstom to Railcare Limited completed in February 2007
  • Hunslet-Barclay (Kilmarnock) goes into administration at the end of October, before being sold to Brush and renamed Brush-Barclay in November.

Rolling Stock and Unusual Workings

  • ScotRail take a number of additional 158s on under both short and long term leases
    • 158863 continued to work from Haymarket Depot in 2007, until it departed to Bristol and onwards to East Midlands Trains on 8th December
    • 158782 arrived at Haymarket during February. It returned south on 3rd November, only to return on 29th November on long term loan
    • 158791 (in Central Trains green livery) was on loan to ScotRail from 4th February until 3rd March
    • 158786 and 158789 (in South West Trains livery) arrived on 16 February on long term loan
    • 158867, 158868, 158869 and 158870 arrived on long term loan during December
  • Class 185s make their first trips to Scotland
    • 185138 was taken to Stirling for a Siemen's press event on 7th February
    • Crew training to Glasgow Central between 13th November and Date
    • Crew training to Edinburgh Waverley between 20th November and Date
    • 185117 is used for training at Corkerhill Depot between 30th November and Date
    • 185130 is used for a press run between Edinburgh Waverley and Glasgow Central on 4th December
    • Regular services between Manchester and Scotland commence on 9th December
  • Central Trains' 156403 on-loan to FSR between 22nd May and 22nd September
  • 158717 has spent most of the year at Glasgow Works under repair after being hit by a car at Delny level crossing near Invergordon on February 2.
  • 318254 spent the last quarter of the year between Shields, Derby and Glasgow Works following a derailment at SECC in September. It is expected to return to service in February 08.
  • 334025 spent April to October at Wolverton following solebar damage in a collision with a Network rail van at Gailles on 25 February.
  • 170420/421 were vinyled in the run up to Glasgow's successful bid for the 2014 Commonwealth Games
  • The final Class 314 C3 refurbishment took place at Glasgow Works
  • 86101 works 5Z86 Crewe LNWR - Doncaster via Edinburgh Waverley on 12th October
  • ScotRail provide additional passenger services between Edinburgh and Carnoustie in July for the 2007 Open Golf Championship, using DB Schenker 67s with 4 sets of MkII coaches.
  • Virgin 57 Thunderbirds route learning on the Edinburgh Sub between 6th February and 27th April.
  • The end of the hired Midland Mainline HST on the 1S41/1M58 Birmingham New Street - Edinburgh Waverley/return service at the start of the summer timetable in May.
  • Cotswold Rail 47's making occassional appearances on GNER HST stock moves to and from Craigentinny during the summer.

  • First visits of Metronet and First liveried GBRf 66's to Scotland on the Mud Oil;.
  • Freightliner Heavy Haul 66's including Shanks 66522 and Bardon 66623 visiting the Arbroath area on consecutive weekends at the end of February/start of March during engineering works.
  • DRS 66/4s work the Inverness RHTT again
  • DRS buy a number of former Freightliner 57s
  • End of regular DB Schenker 37/4's on the Edinburgh bins and other freight during mid July.
  • Class 60s make a number of appearances for engineering works in the second half of the year, including on A-B, ECML and HML works. Remarkably, 60100 made it to Huntly on a ballast train on the 20th of November.
  • The surprise return of DB Schenker 37/4's to Scotland from the 27th November for snowplough duty in Aberdeen and Inverness. At the end of the year Inverness is playing host to BR Green liveried 37411 with Aberdeen home to 37422. Both locos have seen some limited use on the Lairg Tanks and Laurencekirk / Waterloo trips respectively.
  • GBRf 87022 and 87028 continue to make occasional appearances on Royal Mail trains to and from Shieldmuir, with the final workings being 87028 on 1A04 Shieldmuir - Willesden via York and 87022 on 1S04 Willesden - Shieldmuir via York, both on 27th December.
  • Not quite Freight... but 66708 + driver MLB66 had a run from Aberdeen to Inverness and return during its layover from the mud oil turn on Wednesday 12th Dec - driver route refresh run and a 'First' for Inverness.
Network Rail Test Trains
  • Network Rail's NMT breaks new ground:
    • Aberdeen on two occasions (6th July 2007 and 5th October 2007)
    • Ayr
    • Hyndland Loop
  • Various 31s appearing on Network Rail Test Trains, including BR Green liveried 31190.
Glasgow Subway
  • The first of refurbished centre car returns from Glasgow Works August 2007.
  • All over Orange livery disappears on the Glasgow Subway in August, with the remaining unrefurbished center cars carrying all-over adverts, including some for the 2014 Commonwealth Games.


  • Charter trains are banned from Waverley during the engineering works until the end of November.
  • 55022 and 40145 make a number of trips
The Royal Scotsman
Other Charters
  • Various Northern Belle tours use Prestonpans, Wester Hailes or Edinburgh Park instead of Edinburgh Waverley.
  • 37406 and 37410 work Pathfinder's McBuffer Puffer around the Glasgow branchlines on 10th February 2007
  • 37229 and 47802 working the Easter Highlander Blue Pullman to the far North over the Easter Weekend 6th to 9th April
  • The Great Britain charter covers the WCML, north of Scotland and ECML between 9th April and 14th April
  • 37406 and 37410 working the Orcadian Weekend Charter to Kyle and the Far North between 8th and 11th of June
  • 87028 works a King's Cross to Prestonpans Blue Pullman on 4th and 5th August.
  • Disappointment as the Class 87 finale tour is cancelled on the day. (29th December).
  • Charter Trains 2007


Major Projects
  • Work on Airdrie - Bathgate starts with laying the second line on the Bathgate Branch and electrification of the west bays in Edinburgh Waverley over Christmas and New Year 2007/2008
  • Track work is completed on Stirling - Alloa - Kincardine, but issues with Level Crossings means opening is postponed until 2008.
  • Edinburgh Waverley Expansion Phase 1 completed on 19th November, Press release
  • Mossend to Elgin gauge enhancement completed on date
  • Raiths Farm opens on date
  • Aberdeen Guild Street closes on 19th December
  • Craiginches DRS Sidings open on 20th December
  • Preparatory work for the Glasgow Airport Rail Link begins with new OHLE portals appearing on the line from Shields Junction.
  • The Highland Main Line is closed for 9 days in November for work at a number of locations, including track renewal between Perth and Stanley and works aimed at limiting future damage during times of severe weather.
Track Renewals
  • Two consecutive 3 day (Sat-Mon) closures for track renewal in the Arbroath and Montrose areas in late Feb / early March saw an influx of class 66s including no less than 15 DB Schenker and an un-precedented 10 Freightliner examples.
  • Grangemouth Junction renewed (as single lead) in March
  • The Carlisle - Dumfries - Kilmarnock route was blocked for a two-week engineeering possesion between Saturday 14th - Sunday 29th July.
  • Engineering work at Kilmarnock on Sunday 5th August saw a few trains between Glasgow Central and Carlisle diverted via the goods line from Newton-on-Ayr to Mauchline via Annbank.
  • Autumn renewals on the ECML with diversions via Carlisle and the Tyne Valley.
  • Shields Junction renewal over Christmas and New Year 2007/2008.
  • Larbert Junction box closed and semaphores at Carmuirs replaced by LED 'searchlight' signals over weekend of May 12/13. The unique 'splitting distant' signal north of Larbert is also a casualty.
  • Dyce area semaphores removed in connection with Raiths Farm project.
  • Signalling at Glasgow Central is progressively renewed during the year.
  • Fort William: Fergus Ewing, Minister for Community Safety and local MSP, opens new-look station after £750,000 refurbishment. Ceremony on 17th October – third anniversary of ScotRail franchise.
  • Markinch: Transport Minister Stewart Stevenson opens £6m transport hub on 6th November.
  • Long-derelict former Cowlairs carriage sheds in Glasgow demolished in February, prior to work beginning on new signalling centre.
  • EWS close Motherwell TMD on date and open a new fuelling point at Mossend Yard, this following the transfer of the Traincrew depot on date, the depot still sees sporadic visits from Serco operated Network Rail test trains which stable there and re opened from 24th December to date for the stabling of First Scotrail's DMU fleet due to Shields Junction renewal works preventing access to Corkerhill Depot.

Other events and news

Accidents and Incidents
  • 5C26 Polmadie - Edinburgh sleeper stock derails on approach to Edinburgh Waverley, 4th January.
  • 158724 derails on a shunt movement at the north end of Aberdeen station on 13th January.
  • 158728 derailed by landslip near Stromeferry. 15th January.
  • 158717 is hit by a car at Delny level crossing near Invergordon on 2nd February.
  • The Grayrigg derailment on 23rd February with resultant diversions via the ECML until 12th March.
  • 334025 collides with a Network Rail van at Gailles LC (Irvine) on 23rd February.
  • Concrete block dropped on to 156514 between Cleland and Hartwood, Friday 27 July
  • 318254 derails in Stobcross Tunnel on an ECS move, September 3rd
  • Vandals place concrete and tree stumps on the line near Giffnock on 22nd October. 156467 suffers severe underframe damage.
  • 1S25 Northbound Highland Sleeper strikes an object and is terminated at Abington Down Loop, 24th December.

Weather related problems
  • High winds and widespread flooding caused major disruption (including the closure of the Tay Bridge and a blanket 50mph speed restriction over the entire country) on 11th and 12th of January
Industrial action
  • A Forty-eight hour signallers strike between midday on 7th March and midday on 9th March resulted in reduced services, including no trains north of the Central Belt and diverted freight running through Waverley during the middle of the day.

Rail Policy

  • EARL project abandoned by new SNP government
  • 14 Feb 2007 £6.7 million upgrade to Haymarket Maintenance Depot officially opened Minister for Transport, Tavish Scott. The investment into the project will allow maintenance to be carried out in a shorter time and in one location. The depot has been expanded to enable both light and heavy maintenance work to be carried out to the 170 fleet Turbostar trains. The work included the construction of a new maintenance shed which provides roof access equipment to enable work to be carried out easier, with lifting equipment that allows all three carriages of the train to be worked upon at once, instead of the train being split and each carriage worked upon separately. The work also includes the enhancement of fuelling and servicing facilities, improved track layout and improved staff accommodation which will provide better training facilities.
  • 21 June 2007 Work started on Airdrie - Bathgate link. Transport Minister Stewart Stevenson attended a sod cut ceremony at Livingston North station at the start of advanced works on the £300 million rail link for Central Scotland. The Airdrie to Bathgate rail link will re-open a 23 kilometre section (15 miles) between Drumgelloch station and Bathgate to provide fast public transport access between Glasgow, North Lanarkshire, West Lothian and west Edinburgh.
  • 29 June 2007 - The first of 25 class 158s to be refurbished as part of a £9 million Transport Scotland cash boost was put into service and is set to benefit passengers travelling on north east, far north and north-west Highland lines. Two refurbished 158 trains will be released into service approximately every month, until March 2008.
  • 13 July 2007 - Scottish Ministes published the first High Level Output Specification in Scotland. It sets out the detail of what Scottish Ministers want the rail industry to deliver between 2009 and 2014 on behalf of Scottish rail passengers and freight users. The specification is a £3.6bn blueprint aimed at improving reliability, reducing journey times and increasing capacity to meet expected growth in rail passenger numbers between 2009 and 2014. The blueprint – which is based on a projected 23 per cent increase in passenger demand by 2014 - contains new priorities which Ministers are challenging the rail industry to bring forward within this timeframe to support additional growth. These include a package of measures to improve journey times, improve reliability and increase capacity between Edinburgh and Glasgow, including infrastructure improvements to provide an effective interchange between the rail network and Edinburgh airport and electrification of the Edinburgh-Glasgow route.
  • 27 Sept 2007 statement to Parliament confirming EARL was dead and replaced by Gogar (to be ready in time for opening of tram at end of 2010) & Dalmeny Chord, as well as £1bn of investment in Edinburgh to Glasgow improvements, including 300 track km+ of electrification. See full report noted below.
  • 27 Sept 2007 - The same statement confirmed that GARL would be combined with PCR in order to save two costly and disruptive possessions in consecutive years.
  • 27 Sept 2007 Edinburgh Waverley to Glasgow Queen Street - Proposed Electrification Stage 1 Report Edinburgh to Glasgow via Falkirk High, Electrification Feasibility Study carried out by Network Rail. This considers the engineering possibilities for electrifying the route and informed the Ministers decision to proceed with £1bn of investment noted above. Produced May 2007.
  • 27 Sept 2007 - Edinburgh to Glasgow Rail Improvements Study This study examined potential improvements to the current rail services between Edinburgh and Glasgow and proposes an alternative to the Edinburgh Airport Rail Link. Executive summary published 27 Sept & full report published 5 October 2007. Various options from this report being taken forward (including electrification) in £1bn investment announced in parliament.
  • 6th Nov 2007 - Transport Minister Stewart Stevenson marked the completion of £4 million worth of improvements to rail freight services across Scotland. The Mossend to Elgin work will now enable up to 12.3 million lorry kilometres of freight to be transferred from the nation’s roads. This morning Mr Stevenson saw two of the largest containers to be used on the route being loaded onto the freight train at WH Malcolm’s Depot at Grangemouth before waving it off on its journey to Aberdeen. Clearances have been increased along 270 miles of track, involving track slewing, and lowering at 29 structures on the network.
  • 16th Nov 2007 - 20th and final refurbished Class 156 train arrived in Scotland completing a £2.7m Transport Scotland investment in more attractive and comfortable services for passengers. The train is part of a fleet of 20 trains refurbished to benefit passengers on the West Highland Line and in Strathclyde.


  • Vandals attack the Leadhills and Wanlockhead railway. 17th June.

Caledonian Railway (Brechin)
  • 37097 repainted into BR blue and named 'Old Fettercairn' on 05/05/07 messages:Jan|Feb|Mar|Apr|May|Jun|Jul|Aug|Sep|Oct|Nov|Dec|2007