Monday 18 Dec 2017
Bridge to improved accessibility at West Calder station
Over the weekend, engineers working at West Calder took a massive step forward in the delivery of a new accessible footbridge at the station.
Nine sections of the bridge, weighing more than 21 tonnes, were lifted in to position by a 300 tonne crane rigged on Saturday night ahead of lifting on Sunday.
The sections and staircases were connected to the lift towers which had been positioned earlier to complete the main frame of the structure.
The new bridge is being constructed next to the existing structure and will provide both stair and lift access. This is part of wider work on the Shotts line being delivered by Network Rail ahead of the electrification of the route by March 2019.
The work, which will be ongoing until February 2018, will create step-free access across the railway improving the station for people with impaired mobility, travelling with luggage, children or cycles.
The project is being delivered from the site compound previously used for the A71 bridge works and sees the new, accessible footbridge constructed during a six month programme. It will replace the existing bridge which will be removed after the new structure has been opened.
Matthew Spence, Network Rail route delivery director, said: “Completing the installation of the main bridge structure is an important milestone for the project as we move towards making big improvements in accessibility at the station.
“Being able to build the new bridge sections at West Calder beside the railway and crane them into position enables us to deliver the work with the minimum disruption to the day-to-day operation of the station.
“We are continuously seeking opportunities to make stations more accessible. This new bridge will help ensure that everyone in the community has the opportunity to easily access services at West Calder station and thus enable even more people to travel by train.”
The work at West Calder is being delivered by contractor BAM Nuttall who also completed the A71 bridge works ahead of programme, on behalf of Network Rail.
Electrification of the line across North Lanarkshire and West Lothian coupled with improvements at stations will transform the journey experience for rail passengers who will enjoy the benefits of improved services for many years to come.
About Network Rail
Network Rail owns, manages and develops Britain's railway - the 20,000 miles of track, 40,000 bridges and viaducts and the thousands of signals, level crossings and stations (the largest of which we also run). In partnership with train operators we help people take more than 1.65bn journeys by rail every year and move hundreds of millions of tonnes of freight, saving almost 8m lorry journeys. We employ 38,000 people across Britain and work round-the-clock, each and every day, to provide a safe, reliable railway.
About the Railway Upgrade Plan
The Railway Upgrade Plan is Network Rail's investment plan for Britain's railways. It makes up two-thirds of Network Rail's £40bn spending priorities for the five years to 2019 and represents the biggest sustained programme of rail modernisation since the Victoria era. It is designed to provide more capacity, relieve crowding and respond to the tremendous growth Britain's railways continue to experience; passenger numbers have doubled in the past 20 years and are set to double again over the next 25 years - so we need to continue to invest in building a bigger, better railway. For passengers, that means:
- longer, faster more frequent trains;
- better, more reliable infrastructure; and
- better facilities for passengers, especially at stations.