Glasgow Queen Street high level station re-opened to West Highland Line passenger trains on Sunday 7 August – a day earlier than originally scheduled – following completion of electrification work. The terminus fully re-opened to all trains on the 8th, ending the long routine of ScotRail services being diverted to either Queen St low level or Glasgow Central. WHL trains used the former.
Queen St closed back on 20 March, to allow engineers to erect overhead catenary in advance of electric services starting to Edinburgh, though these are now not expected to begin until July 2017. Track has been replaced, with platforms re-surfaced and a new colour light signal gantry has appeared over the entrance to Cowlairs Tunnel. The rails within the tunnel itself had to be lowered to accommodate the overhead wires, which was a major undertaking.
During the closure which lasted several months, WHL trains used the low level ‘North Clyde’ electrified route on their way to and from Oban, Fort William and Mallaig. Generally, trains bound for the Highlands headed east out of Queen St low level via Bellgrove and Springburn, where they used a rarely-traversed part of one of the two Cowlairs triangles to join the usual route via Maryhill. In the opposite direction, services came in from the west via more rare track, taking in Anniesland, Partick and the banks of the Clyde where P.S Waverley was often docked.