I've had a hectic start to the week, somewhat more so that the usual week, but Monday marked a new stage for Bathgate.
It was the laying of the first stretch of new track to link up Bathgate with Airdrie and to create another through route from Edinburgh to Glasgow. The platforms along the route are developing nicely. The new one at Bathgate will make my journey to the station change as the direct line down Mid Street will be more direct than my current journey down Hopetoun Street and St. David's Street.
The BBC article mentions most of the new and upgraded amenities along the line but fails to mention Blackridge Station. The village to the West of Armadale was overlooked by planners when the route was first planned but with all party backing a campaign was launched to provide the people of Blackridge with a station on the line that was going by them anyway.
While the provision of direct train services from Bathgate to Glasgow and Airdrie to Edinburgh are great aspects of new line, the regular service for Blackridge enhances the residents opportunity to use public transport. There are currently only two direct express buses to Edinburgh in the morning from Bathgate the X1 at 0610 and 0700; the latter arrives in the East End at 0816. But only one back out the 1715. It is hardly encouraging for those who maybe work at the Gyle to use public transport. So a train stopping at Edinburgh Park may well encourage more people out of their cars.
The contractors Balfour Beatty are confident that the track laying and electrification will be completed by December this year, on schedule. Seeing some of the things they have done to work through the snow and flooding recently I'm confident that they will be doing all they can to make sure they do deliver on time.
I personally am looking forward to going straight through to Glasgow without having to worry about the last bus time back to Bathgate in the early evening.