West Lothian station is benefiting from a series of improvements, with electrification and accessibility both prioritised.
The most recent development – part of a multi-million pound transformation at the station – has resulted in the installation of a bridge that gives step free access via lifts to both platforms.
The £2.7 million bridge was delivered over a 10-month period and was completed as part of the Shotts Line Electrification project, which itself was funded by the Scottish government.
Access to the station is now much better for those with impaired mobility, if they are taking bikes onto the platform, and if they are travelling with luggage.
Lifts and stairs have been incorporated into the new bridge, replacing an old station footbridge that had long since outlived its purpose.
The bridge was initially constructed in a purpose-built compound and is now in place and open to the public ahead of electrification of this route in 2019.
Electrification and the technology that comes with it are becoming increasingly important to the rail industry. There have been instances recently where this type of project has been scrapped but the industry as a whole believes it is the way forward for greater connectivity, more journeys and better passenger experience.
It is certainly the case in Scotland, which has already benefited from electrification of a number of routes, and those using West Lothian station will also see advantages of electrification across its line, as well as the wider North Lanarkshire region.
This, along with the station improvements such as the new footbridge, will transform the experience for passengers.
And Kevin McClelland, Route Delivery Director for infrastructure projects, believes this bridge is key for electrification.
“Opening the new bridge is another important milestone for the electrification project – with the added bonus of enabling the old bridge to be relocated and preserved at Bo’ness heritage railway – which is great to see.
“We have cleared structures all along the route to avoid them being an obstruction to the safe running of the overhead wires which will enable electrification.”