I have almost finished my travels for my next book – Remote Stations. There are just two more trips to complete forty remote stations around England, Wales and Scotland, but by the time the book is published next year one of these may have gone. Network Rail have applied to close Breich on the ‘Shotts Line’ from Glasgow to Edinburgh. If they succeed this will be the first station to close in Scotland since Balloch Pier in 1986. More worryingly, if they succeed in closing Breich will Network Rail seek to shut more of our lesser used stations around the country?
At first sight it seems hard to argue that the £1.3 million Network Rail say it would cost to retain justifies the 150 or so passengers a year, however on closer investigation there is more to it. Their case for closure is that the cost of work on the station and replacement of the footbridge which are required due to electrification, is not justified by the small number of passengers using the station. It’s not surprising that few passengers use Breich – only one train in each direction stops here.
Network Rail have not considered the potential for increased usage if more trains stopped, if parking facilities were provided and if proposed housing developments nearby go ahead. Nor do they appear to have considered building a path from the east-bound platform to the A706, so negating the need for a footbridge. Closure of Breich station was not included in the electrification plan for which the budget would have included funds for the required work. The proposed closure is an opportunistic attempt at cost saving and has not considered all options, so permission should not be granted. Railways should be to provide a service, not for profit.
With the support of Geoff Marshall from ‘All the Stations’ I’ve started a petition to save Breich station. https://you.38degrees.org.uk/petitions/save-breich-station
I’ve also submitted a full ’objection’ to the consultation process. For anyone who may wish to consider doing the same details are here. > https://www.networkrail.co.uk/running-the-railway/our-routes/scotland/
In 2017 we should not be shutting railway stations – Save Breich!!!!!!