May 20 2009 by Gordon Robertson, Airdrie & Coatbridge Advertiser
WORK is well under way to complete the ambitious Airdrie to Bathgate rail link by December next year.
The Airdrie Local Area Partnership group were given a full update on the £300 million project by North Lanarkshire Council.
The line will make it possible to travel from Monklands to Edinburgh by rail and see a new station created at Caldercruix.
In the North Lanarkshire stretch of line, de-vegetation works have been completed, with the cutting down or back of trees and shrubs along the rail corridor.
Remediation works on old mines are well advanced.
This involves filling in former mining shafts along the route of the rail line and new roads.
Towers Road Bridge, just east of Drumgelloch Station, will be replaced during the school summer holiday in a bid to minimise the inconvenience caused to children going to Caldervale High.
Work will also be carried out on the bridge on Crowwood Drive, adjacent to Drumgelloch Station, which is scheduled to start on Monday, June 8 and last for 15 weeks.
There will be a period when both bridges are closed at the same time.
Barblues Bridge, between Plains and Caldercruix, and Bedlornie Toll Bridge on the boundary between North Lanarkshire and West Lothian, are also to be renewed.
The bridge over the rail line at Main Street, Caldercruix, willalso be demolished and re-builtunder the scheme although no date has yet been fixed for this to take place.
Regular meetings between the council and Network Rail are being held and a series of public forums will be held to keep local residents informed.
Any complaints or concerns about the work on the rail link can be made to Network Rail National Helpline on 08457 114141.
People in the Monklands area wishing to find out more about the major rail project can visit www.airdriebathgateraillink.co.uk for details.