South Scotland

Kilmarnock to Dumfries rail line repair work begins

Work starts Image copyright Network Rail
Image caption Network Rail said work in the area presented a challenge due to its location

Work has started to repair a landslip which has shut the rail line between Kilmarnock and Dumfries.

A section of the line near Holywood in Dumfries and Galloway was badly affected during Storm Ciara earlier this month.

The line was closed since and detailed examination has been carried out by specialist engineers.

Work has now begun to allow the line to reopen but it is expected to remain shut until 16 March.

Replacement buses are running between Kilmarnock and Dumfries for the duration of the closure.

Dumfriesshire MSP Oliver Mundell visited the site to see the scale of the problem.

"It is apparent that the damage is severe and it makes you appreciate the force of the river and the destructive power it had when fuelled by the extreme wet weather," he said.

"I know that the team here are working very hard in difficult conditions to get the railway rebuilt and reopened for passenger services as quickly as possible."

Tom Podger, Network Rail's project manager, said the landslip was in a difficult location which presented a challenge in getting equipment and materials to the site.

He said they were working as "quickly as possible" to get the line reopened.

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