Glasgow’s Argyle rail line is closed to the public for eight weeks due to a £32million upgrade

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It’s the road that keeps Scotland’s biggest city moving, but engineering works are forcing the Argyle line to close for at least eight weeks.

The route connects Rutherglen station to the west end of Glasgow via Central Station, Argyle Street, Anderston and the exhibition grounds.

Plans are on track to see trains return in early May after the £32m engineering works, but Anderston station, which will see a new concourse, ticket office and lift access added, will not reopen for seven weeks.

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Argyle Line gets £32m upgrade

“We will be reconditioning the entire surface of the platform,” said Stephen Gamble, project manager for the Anderston redevelopment.

“New water collection system, new ceiling, new lighting and new fixed electrical wiring to improve the aesthetics of the station.”

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Argyle line undergoes £32million upgrade

The line fell to the Beeching cuts of the 1960s, but reopened in 1979, albeit with modifications.

It is the first time that the three kilometers of tunnels running through the city center have been closed for an extended period, allowing engineers to peek into a part of Glasgow’s almost forgotten history.

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Argyle line undergoes £32million upgrade

“It’s fascinating to watch a railroad like this because we haven’t been there properly for so long that we don’t really know what’s out there,” said Liam Sumpter, Network Rail’s route manager for Scotland.

Argyle Street station was one of the additions for the 1970s upgrade, with the station replacing Glasgow Cross on Saltmarket.

The old quays have been brought to light by the work, giving a glimpse of the city’s past.

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Argyle line undergoes £32m upgrade

“One of the biggest challenges is that you get in there and you start peeling back a few layers of everything you need to fix and you start finding all kinds of different things,” Sumpter said.

“You find different spawns in the station or in parts of the station that you just didn’t know were there.”

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Argyle line undergoes £32m upgrade

Engineers work in the dark under central Glasgow to prepare the route for returning passengers.

All is well, trains will be back on these tracks on May 8, with Anderson station reopening in early June.

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