The first reopening of a major branch railway line in Scotland for 25 years was carried out by First Minister Jack McConnell on Friday 9 December 2005.
Connecting Larkhall to Glasgow Central via Hamilton Central, the line is part of the £35million Larkhall to Milngavie project.

It provides for rail traffic between Larkhall and Dalmuir and a new service from Queen Street to Anniesland via Maryhill.
The project includes about three miles of new railway from Larkhall to Hamilton, new stations at Larkhall, Merryton and Chatelherault, a mile of new railway from Maryhill to Anniesland, a new station at Kelvindale plus an additional platform at Anniesland.

The new Larkhall branch line is electrified and trains will run every 30 minutes to Glasgow city centre.
Funded by the Scottish Executive and Strathclyde Passenger Transport with support from South Lanarkshire Council, the project represents the largest rail enhancement project in Scotland for more than 25 years.
SPT expect 1.5million new passengers across the network every year as a result of the new infrastructure and re-structured rail services. 
"SPT is proud that after years of hard work we have delivered, on time and on budget, the first railway line with stations in Scotland since the Argyle line was opened in 1979 - another SPT led project," said Councillor Alistair Watson of SPT.

"Only through SPT's ability to deliver large-scale regional projects has this been possible.
"As well as Larkhall re-joining the rail network, today's official opening sees the start of a host of improvements including an increase from 12 to 14 trains per hour between the city centre and Partick, 71 trains a day between Larkhall and the city centre and an extra two services per hour between Milngavie and Glasgow in the off-peak."
All train services on the new line will be operated by First Scotrail.
Provost Mushtaq Ahmad of South Lanarkshire Council welcomed the reopening of the branch line saying: "South Lanarkshire Council campaigned for many years to get this project up and running and I am delighted to have been part of the effort that has brought us to this point.  

"We recognise the crucial role this rail line has to play in ensuring the wellbeing and prosperity of the town.
"The link goes hand-in-hand with the council's own aims for the ongoing regeneration of Larkhall and I believe we can capitalise on this project to bring about a period of economic investment and growth that will benefit all who live in the area."
Mary Dickson, managing director of First ScotRail said: "This line marks a new era for Scotland's railway. The line will provide a convenient, affordable and direct transport link to the city centre and beyond and I am confident it will be a great success."
Ron McAulay, Director, Scotland, Network Rail said: "This is a further step towards establishing rail as the key public transport in the 21st century, a prime objective for Network Rail and the Scottish Executive."

The original lines in the area were built by the Caledonian Railway Company in the 1880s to serve coal mines.

Recommendations in the Beeching Report eventually led to the line to Larkhall being withdrawn in 1965 and in so doing, all passenger rail services through the Lanarkshire town were removed and the stations at Strathaven, Stonehouse, Blackwood, Lesmahagow and Coalburn were closed.
Information from Charles Mann, associate director, Weber Shandwick, on behalf of Strathclyde Passenger Transport Authority.

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