Whifflet Line

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Whifflet Line
System National Rail
Locale Glasgow
Termini Glasgow Central
Stations 7
Owner Network Rail
Operator(s) First ScotRail
Rolling stock Class 158, Class 156
Track gauge 4 ft 8 12 in (1,435 mm)
Route map

The Whifflet Line is one of the lines within the Strathclyde suburban rail network in Scotland.


The line was built between 1863 and 1865 as the Rutherglen and Coatbridge Railway, part of the Caledonian Railway. It opened to goods traffic (mainly coal and iron) in September 1865 and to passengers in August 1866. It has been in continuous operation ever since. Stations in the first service on the line were at Carmyle, Broomhouse (now Mount Vernon), Baillieston, Langloan and Whifflet High Level (until 1964). Passenger services ceased in November 1966 following the Beeching Axe (latterly running to Coatbridge Central). Between 1972 and 1974 period scheduled passenger trains between Glasgow Central and Perth used the route. For the following twenty years, the route was only used for freight and diverted passenger services. However the line reopened to scheduled passenger services with intermediate stations on 4 October 1993, running to the newly built station at Whifflet rather than Coatbridge Central as previously.

Line description[edit]

The modern line currently serves seven stations. It connects parts of south east Glasgow, Bargeddie and Coatbridge to Glasgow city centre. Between Glasgow Central and Rutherglen, the line shares the same track as the West Coast Main Line (and is hence electrified up until here), before branching off in a north easterly direction towards Coatbridge (this section is not electrified).


The route is operated by First ScotRail. The line is not electrified.

2009 service pattern[edit]

Trains operate at a half hour frequency. All services are scheduled to run as two car trains only, although a four carriage service is technically possible should the need arise in the future. Services are operated using Class 158 diesel multiple units and the occasional Class 156 DMU. Three trains operating on this route during the day, usually remaining dedicated on this service throughout the day.

There is currently no Sunday service on this line, however a reduced timetable occasionally operates on Sundays over the Christmas period, to accommodate the extra shoppers. One of these extra trains per hour is usually extended to terminate at Shotts.

Future developments[edit]

In 2006, Network Rail announced tentative proposals to electrify the Rutherglen - Whifflet section, as part of a £1.4bn upgrade to Scotland's railways. The main benefits of this scheme would appear to provide an enhanced frequency for the Whifflet-Central routes and to provide an electric diversionary path for long distance WCML services. If the plan is successful either Class 320 or Class 318 would be used on Whifflet routes instead of current stock Class 156 and Class 158 (prior to the electrification). Electrification also would mean the Whifflet Line being added to the Argyle Line system with services through Glasgow Central Low Level to the western suburbs. This is expected to be completed by the end of 2014.


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