New £300m rail link opens in Scotland

New £300m rail link opens in Scotland

Scotland is celebrating the opening of a new £300 million rail link which will see North Lanarkshire linked with West Lothian for the first time in half a century.

The new 15-mile track will allow trains to run from the west of Scotland through Glasgow Queen Street to Edinburgh, via Airdrie and Bathgate.

The project took four years to complete, with stations at Bathgate and Drumgelloch being re-built.

Livingston North and Uphall stations were upgraded.

The longest new passenger rail link in the country for more than a century, the line is designed to ease traffic on the M8 motorway by encouraging motorists to make the switch to public transport.

Ron McAulay, Scotland’s Network Rail director, said: “The line will provide infrastructure that will allow trains to run all the way from the west of Scotland through Glasgow Queen Street to Edinburgh Waverley, via Airdrie and Bathgate.”



However, Network Rail added the recent severe weather had prevented the completion of three new stations.

“The severe weather has prevented the completion of some minor station works and left the access roads and platform surfaces at some of the new intermediate stations on the route impassable, with up to three feet of snow blocking access this week,” continued Mr McAulay.

He went on to explain work would be finished once the weather improved.

“Completing this line in just four years was a major engineering and project management challenge.

“To have delivered the railway on time and on budget is a testament to the skill and determination of our team.”

The original railway between Airdrie and Bathgate closed to passenger trains in 1956 and to freight services in 1982.