Friday 3 Nov 2017
Tower lifts a step towards improved accessibility at West Calder station
This weekend, engineers working on site at West Calder station will crane two 10.5m tall lift towers into position as the new accessible footbridge begins to take shape.
The pre-fabricated towers which have been constructed next to the railway, will be lifted into position using a 200t crane and signal real and visible progress in delivering the new bridge. The rest of the structure including stairs, and bridge section, will be assembled and lifted into position by mid-December.
The new structure is being constructed next to the existing bridge 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 deliver 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: “Installing the new lift towers is an important milestone for the project as it is the first part of the main bridge structure to be put in place.
“Being able to build the new bridge at West Calder beside the railway and craning it 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 our 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 Nuttal who also completed the A71 bridge works ahead of programme, on behalf of Network Rail.
About Network Rail
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.
Every day, there are more than 4.7 million journeys made in the UK and over 600 freight trains run on the network. People depend on Britain's railway for their daily commute, to visit friends and loved ones and to get them home safe every day. Our role is to deliver a safe and reliable railway, so we carefully manage and deliver thousands of projects every year that form part of the multi-billion pound Railway Upgrade Plan, to grow and expand the nation's railway network to respond to the tremendous growth and demand the railway has experienced - a doubling of passenger journeys over the past 20 years.
We are building a better railway for a better Britain.