Emergency works to repair a landslip beneath the railway between Kilmarnock and Dumfries will continue for a further four weeks.

The section of line has been closed since Monday (February 10) after the weekend’s storms caused the River Nith to erode an embankment beneath the railway.

Following detailed examination of the landslip by specialist engineers, the line is now expected to reopen for start of service on Monday, March 16.

Engineers are currently working to repair the 1,700 ton landslip beneath a 50m stretch of track near Holywood in Dumfriesshire.

Engineers will first have to construct a new road and compound to bring material to the site to allow them to begin the process of stabilising and rebuilding the embankment.

To keep passengers moving, ScotRail services will continue to run between Dumfries and Carlisle and between Kilmarnock and Glasgow, with a replacement bus operating between Dumfries and Kilmarnock.

Passengers with ScotRail tickets may travel on Avanti West Coast and TransPennine Express services between Carlisle and Glasgow Central, via Lockerbie.

A Network Rail spokesperson said: “Our engineers are working hard to reopen the line as quickly as possible for customers.

“Storm Ciara has caused significant damage beneath the track and we will need to rebuild the track-bed and supporting embankment before we can reopen the line.

“The landslip is located in a challenging location above the river and will also require our engineers to construct a haul road to bring equipment and materials to the site.”

Passengers can check their journey at  https://www.nationalrail.co.uk/ or https://www.scotrail.co.uk/