Network Rail has released this timelapse footage of the Forth and Clyde Canal being drained and Carmuirs Twin Tunnels beneath it being demolished to allow for the construction of a new aqueduct.
As part of the Edinburgh Glasgow Improvement Programme (EGIP), the Forth and Clyde canal was closed and drained in October 2014 to allow for the demolition and replacement of the Carmuirs twin railway tunnels beneath the waterway.
Network Rail diverted the canal tow path and installed a temporary footbridge across the railway to maintain access for pedestrains and cyclists in the area and to ensure people could continue to visit the Falkirk Wheel.
The canal was then drained, with demolition of the twin tunnels and initial stages of reconstruction of the new single tunnel taking place over extended railway closures at both Christmas and New Year. The project took six months to complete.
Network Rail programme director for EGIP Rodger Querns said: “Carmuirs Tunnel presented an unusual engineering challenge and when you see the aqueduct and the reinstated canal, it is clear that our project team and contractors, Bam, fully met this challenge.”
A Scottish Government-funded, £742M investment in Scotland’s railway, EGIP is delivering a rolling programme of electrification across the central belt – reducing journey times and boosting capacity on routes including the Edinburgh to Glasgow Queen Street line, which runs via Falkirk High.
The new aqueduct is the 51st structure completed in a programme of 61 bridge works being delivered to create extra space beneath bridges and tunnels to allow electric overhead power lines to be erected on key routes.