Tuesday 10 Jun 2008


Region & Route:
Scotland’s Railway: Scotland

Network Rail opened its doors to local MSP Mary Mulligan yesterday (Monday 9 June) to demonstrate the innovative techniques being used to deliver the new double tracked section of railway between Bathgate and Edinburgh.

Pre-fabricated sections of track (switches and crossings) are being manufactured and assembled by a local factory owned by Balfour Beatty before being checked on site by Network Rail. They will be installed in various locations between Bathgate and Boghall during July. The process allows Network Rail to shorten the amount of time needed to close the line and speed up the introduction of double tracked service to Bathgate.

Ms Mulligan toured the former STVA freight yard in Bathgate where the 60 metre,125 ton structure is being assembled in advance of engineering works being carried out in the area on Saturday 28 and Sunday 29 June and from 5 to 20 July. The structure will be craned into position by a massive 800 ton crane being brought to site for this specific purpose.

Hugh Wark, Senior Project Manager for Network Rail commented:

“We are very proud of the inventive techniques being employed to deliver this section of the Airdrie-Bathgate Project. By using local suppliers, Balfour Beatty, we are already demonstrating how this railway will help to bring economic benefits to West Lothian. By creating the track locally, we will also reduce the cost and environmental impact of transporting the materials to site

“Creating prefabricated sections of track before installing it also cuts down on the amount of time we need to close the railway, reducing the overall impact that the construction of the line will have on passengers.

“The Bathgate line closures we have planned in June and July will help bring the double tracking of the branch line to Bathgate nearer completion. New platforms at Livingston North and Uphall will also be completed by October, providing passengers with a much more reliable travelling experience.

“Network Rail has been working closely with Transport Scotland and First Scotrail who will be affected by this enhancement work. We understand that this work will require passengers to review their transport arrangements, however, we have timed the main closures to coincide with weekends and local holidays to keep disruption to a minimum. There is no ideal time to carry out this type of work but this short term interruption to services will contribute to long term improvements for the rail network in Scotland.”

Mary Mulligan MSP for Linlithgow constituency commented:

“This is a very exciting time for many people. The dualing of the Edinburgh Bathgate line will result in my constituents receiving a better and more reliable service. The fact that the materials for the work are being produced here in Bathgate means that the economic benefits will go beyond the railway's passengers. I congratulate Network Rail and Balfour Beatty on this innovative venture and the benefit they are bringing to so many people."

To ensure local residents are kept informed about the June/July construction work , Network Rail will be hosting a residents meeting at the Bathgate Community Education Centre, Marjoribanks Street at 7pm.

Notes to editors

Forthcoming Edinburgh / Bathgate Service Alteration Dates: · Sat 28 to Sun 29 June · Sat 05 to Sun 20 July · Sat 13 to Sun 14 September · Sat 20 to Sun 21 September · Sat 27 to Sun 28 September · Sat 04 to Sun 05 October · Sat 11 to Sun 19 October · Sat 25 to Sun 26 October The Airdrie-Bathgate Rail Link is a £300 million project funded by Transport Scotland which will re-establish a rail link and provide passenger transport services through central Scotland. The line will connect local communities not currently served by public transport to Edinburgh in the east and Glasgow in the west. This will provide access to important employment, education, health and leisure opportunities as well as promoting a sustainable transport alternative. The Airdrie-Bathgate Railway and Linked Improvements Act 2007 received Royal Assent in May 2007 following the Scottish Parliament's unanimous cross-party support for the project.

Contact information

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We own, operate and develop Britain's railway infrastructure; that's 20,000 miles of track, 30,000 bridges, tunnels and viaducts and the thousands of signals, level crossings and stations. We run 20 of the UK's largest stations while all the others, over 2,500, are run by the country's train operating companies.

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