Bathgate Railway Station

(Both Chèit)

A busy railway station which is the fourth to have existed in the town of Bathgate in West Lothian. Referred to as Both Chèit in Gaelic, this station is situated on the North Clyde Line, a quarter-mile (0.5 km) southeast of the town centre. This station opened in 2010, coinciding with the re-opening of the Bathgate and Coatbridge Railway between Airdrie and Bathgate, which was known as Airdrie-Bathgate Rail Link. Operated by ScotRail, Bathgate Railway Station is staffed part-time and was used by 810,000 passengers per annum in 2010-11 but, by 2016, usage had increased markedly to 1.223 million. It is preceded by Livingston North Railway Station, 3¾ miles (6 km) to the east, and followed by Armadale, 2½ miles (4 km) to the west southwest.

This station replaced an earlier station, located a quarter-mile (0.5 km) to the northwest, which opened in 1986 as the terminus of the Edinburgh-Bathgate Railway. This line opened in 1849 with a station which became known as Bathgate Upper. The town also had a goods station. Passenger services were withdrawn in 1956, with the line continuing to transport coal to Edinburgh and in connection with the British Leyland vehicle plant. A passenger service re-introduced with funding from Lothian Regional Council to take commuters off the M8 motorway.

Before rail rationalisation in the 1960s, Bathgate had been an important railway junction, the hub at the centre of at least seven lines, including the Edinburgh-Bathgate Railway, the Bathgate & Coatbridge Railway (opened 1863) and the Bathgate Branch of the Monkland Railway (opened 1856). This latter line supported another station known as Bathgate Lower but this closed in 1930. The other lines connected to various coal mines and steel works.

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