Brechin railway acquires historic footbridge for station improvement project

The Caledonian Railway is giving a new home to historic rail icon in its continuing programme of improvements at its Brechin station.
​The Victorian footbridge will be installed at the Caledonian Railway’s Brechin station.​The Victorian footbridge will be installed at the Caledonian Railway’s Brechin station.
​The Victorian footbridge will be installed at the Caledonian Railway’s Brechin station.

Network Rail removed the 146-year-old footbridge from the railway in Glasgow’s southside last month. It formerly connected Darnley Road and Moray Place at Strathbungo and will now take pride of place in Brechin.

The bridge is being replaced as part of the Glasgow to Barrhead electrification project and efforts were made over several months to rehome both it 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 were unable to find a suitable location. It was then released for tender, when contact was made with the local heritage railway.

The charity intends to use the columns to develop ramp access to the station while the footbridge will be installed as part of the restoration and improvement work.

Michelle McCaig, project manager for the bridge work, said the company is pleased to have found a new and suitable home for the bridge.

She said: “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.

“By being part of Brechin station, this provides an great opportunity for the footbridge to continue to be used and appreciated.”

Jon Gill, Caledonian Railway chairman, said: “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.

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