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Edinburgh-Bathgate Railway

A railway line which opened in 1849, the Edinburgh-Bathgate Railway diverges from the Glasgow-Edinburgh Line at Ratho, 7½ miles (12 km) west southwest of Edinburgh Waverley. Serving Waverley Station, Haymarket, Edinburgh Park, Uphall Railway Station, Livingston North Railway Station and Bathgate Railway Station, it extends to 19 miles (30 km). The original line was only a single-track and was the work of engineer Thomas Grainger (1794 - 1851). It was soon connected to the Bathgate and Coatbridge Railway, which opened in 1865, and a branch was built to Glasgow in 1871.

The Edinburgh-Bathgate line was successful, particularly in relation to freight; the export of building stone, bricks, coal and oil, with branches serving coal-mines, quarries and the shale-oil refineries. The line was taken over by the North British Railway in 1865 and merged into the London and North Eastern system in 1923. However, it closed to passenger traffic in 1956 and, from the late 1960s, was largely sustained by the manufacture of commercial vehicles by British Leyland in Bathgate.

Owing to demand from Bathgate and particularly the New Town of Livingston, the line was doubled, electrified and officially re-opened for passenger services in 1986 by Malcolm Rifkind (b.1946), Secretary of State for Scotland. This revitalised transport route was a great success with passenger numbers greatly exceeding estimates. In 2010, the Airdrie-Bathgate Link re-opened, restoring the through-route to Glasgow, and electric trains now run from Helensburgh and Milngavie to Bathgate and Edinburgh, on a combination of railways now known as the North Clyde Line. The station in Bathgate which re-opened in 1986 was closed in 2010 and a new Bathgate Railway Station was built a half-mile (0.8 km) to the east, in a position that permitted connection onto the new line to the west.


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