Breich earmarked for first Scottish station closure in 31 years

Plans to close Breich Station in West Lothian, used by just three passengers a week, have been announced by Network Rail.

Wednesday, 21st June 2017, 9:08 pm
Updated Tuesday, 12th September 2017, 11:56 am
Breich station is used by just three passengers each week on average. Picture: Richard Webb/Wikicommons

If confirmed, the unstaffed station on the Edinburgh-Glasgow line via Shotts would be the first Scottish closure since 1986 when Balloch Pier Station on Loch Lomond shut.

The move has been prompted by the £1.4 million cost of replacing its footbridge as part of electrification of the line, which would be saved.

It is understood the station is likely to have stayed open otherwise.

Sign up to our daily newsletter

The i newsletter cut through the noise

Only one train a day in each direction stops at Breich, which was opened in 1869, with no trains on Sundays.

It served just 138 passengers in 2015-16 - an average of 2.6 passengers a week.

The nearest stations are Addiewell, two miles to the east, and Fauldhouse, nearly three miles to the west.

Network Rail said a three-month consultation would be launched on 10 July.

David Dickson, infrastructure director of the ScotRail Alliance with Network Rail, said: “We take pride in the role we have played in growing Scotland’s railway in recent years.

"Where there is proof of demand, such as the Airdrie-Bathgate route and along the Borders Railway, we have actively supported the opening of new stations and the reopening of old ones.

“As a responsible steward of the railway and a publicly-run organisation, it is also Network Rail’s responsibility to ensure we consider value for money in relation to the operation of station and rail services.

“The current and projected demand for rail services to and from Breich is very low.

"Closure of the station must be considered as an option, however, the views of the local community are vital when making a decision on its future.

“I encourage anyone with an interest in Breich Station to read through our consultation document and share their views with us.

"A report will be submitted to Transport Scotland in October 2017 for consideration.”

Network Rail has arranged drop-in information events at Woodmuir Primary School in Breich from 3:15-7pm on 28 June and 30 August.

A consultation document is available at www.networkrail.co.uk/breichstation