Network Rail finds new home for historic footbridge
Network Rail has found a permanent new home for an historic footbridge removed from the railway in Glasgow’s southside last month.
The 146-year old icon formerly connected Darnley Road and Moray Place at Strathbungo and will now take pride of place within Caledonian Railway’s unique Brechin station.
Work is ongoing to replace the bridge as part of the Glasgow to Barrhead electrification project – a Scottish Government investment to decarbonise passenger services across Scotland’s Railway by 2035.
Efforts were made over several months to rehome the footbridge and the railway columns that once supported Susie’s Store on Nithsdale Road, which was demolished as part of the project.
Key stakeholders and Network Rail explored several options to try to keep the footbridge in Glasgow but could not find a suitable location. It was then released for tender where contact was made with Caledonian Railway, a volunteer-run charity that restores, maintains and operates a heritage railway in Angus.
The charity intends to use the columns to develop ramp access to Caledonian Railway’s Brechin station and provide much improved facilities for visitors. The footbridge will be installed as part of the restoration and improvement work at the station.
Michelle McCaig, Network Railway project manager for the bridge work, said: “We are so pleased to have been able to find a new home for the footbridge and railway columns. Ideally, we wanted to try to keep the bridge in Glasgow, as we know the significant role it has played in the community over the years, but unfortunately a viable solution couldn’t be found.
“However, as the former footbridge was built as part of the Caledonian Railway and the charity is the only preserved and remaining part of this network, it seems fitting the bridge will once again be part of this.
“I want to thank all involved over many months in our collective efforts to find a permanent solution for the footbridge and columns. By being part of Brechin station, this provides an great opportunity for the footbridge to continue to be used and appreciated.”
Jon Gill, chairman of Caledonian Railway Brechin Ltd, added: “We are thrilled to be able to incorporate these fantastic parts of our railway heritage in to our live preserved railway, this will ensure that visitors will be able to continue to enjoy their use for years to come.
“I would really like to take this opportunity to thank Network Rail and all their partners for their support in making this happen.”
The footbridge had to be replaced as it was unsuitable for when the line is electrified. Work is now underway to install the new footbridge, with the design for this chosen from three options following a vote by the community in July 2021