A major rail line between Glasgow and Edinburgh will close for four days as safety works are carried out.

Engineers will install specialist netting and rock anchors on the 100m-long rock cutting to the east of the old Ratho station, due to the risk of rocks falling onto the line.

The sub-zero temperatures in Scotland's winter make fracturing of the rock more likely, and could cause the cutting to deteriorate further.

As a result the line will be closed from January 29 until February 2 with a resultant impact on train services in the central belt.

Glasgow-Edinburgh, via Falkirk High, services will terminate at Linlithgow, with no services between Edinburgh Waverley and Linlithgow.

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Dunblane-Edinburgh services will terminate at Falkirk Grahamston. There will be no train service between Edinburgh Waverley and Falkirk Grahamston.

Edinburgh-Helensburgh/Milngavie services will terminate at Bathgate. There will be no train service between Edinburgh Waverley and Bathgate.

ScotRail Inverness-Edinburgh services will run via Fife and will not call at Stirling.

Passengers looking to travel directly between Edinburgh and Glasgow can use the services which run via Shotts and Carstairs.

The Herald:

Liam Sumpter, Network Rail Scotland route director, said: “The work we are delivering is vital to the safe running of the railway and cannot be completed without a short closure of the line.

“We understand the inconvenience this project will cause to our customers and have put plans in place that deliver these improvements as quickly as possible. We thank passengers for their patience while we complete this safety-critical work.”

Phil Campbell, ScotRail customer operations director, said: “Due to these engineering works, there will be significant disruption to the services ScotRail can operate between Edinburgh and Glasgow, Bathgate, Linlithgow, Stirling, and Inverness.

“We understand the disruption this will cause to customers' journeys, but it is essential that Network Rail carries out these works.

“ScotRail’s advice to customers travelling between Edinburgh and Glasgow via Falkirk High or via Bathgate, and between Edinburgh and Dunblane, is that you should only travel if your journey is essential.

“Customers travelling between Inverness and Edinburgh should also be aware that journey times may be longer as those services are diverted via Fife.

“We are working hard to finalise plans to provide alternative travel and will communicate that to customers in the coming days.”