Locals 'not surprised' after sinkhole brings train line to a halt

The sinkhole, which was discovered on Sunday, has expanded with repairs being described as 'potentially complex'.

Locals have said they are “not surprised” after a massive sinkhole appeared under railway tracks between Airdrie and Bathgate.

The one-metre deep fault between Caldercruix and Drumgelloch was first identified on Sunday bringing one of North Lanarkshire’s busiest lines to a standstill.

Since its discovery, the sinkhole has steadily expanded, with engineers still working to figure out its size and depth.

Airdrie – Bathgate line to remain closed at Caldercruix as engineers repair sinkhole damage Supplied

Locals told STV News that water has caused “havoc” near the railway for a number of years.

Local resident Cameron Kerr, said: “The bridge itself, there has been a lot of water prior Christmas and that, so I don’t know if that’s weakened it, because they’ve put in drainage under the bridge because it was flooding.”

North Lanarkshire councillor, Alan Beveridge, said he made Network Rail aware of issues regarding the line in January after multiple residents raised concerns.

“January this year it was like the Trevi Fountain running out the side of the brick and several residents made reports of this to me.

“I indeed informed the roads department who informed Network Rail on several occasions regarding this,” he said.

Network Rail has said the line will not reopen until investigations are complete and a repair plan is put in place.

Work to fix the sinkhole has been described as “potentially complex” with the route expected to remain closed until at least April 29.

The operator has put on replacement buses for some routes but many services have been cancelled.

Local resident, Elaine Graham, spoke to STV News about needing to find alternative travel arranges for her daughter.

“My daughter’s got her first exam today at school in Glasgow, so she gets the train regularly early and we had to think of alternative arrangements in how we were going to get her Glasgow,” she said.

Ross Moran, interim route director for Network Rail Scotland, said: “Sinkholes like this are very unusual on the railway, and our specialist geotechnical engineers are working tirelessly to identify the cause, as well as planning the repairs, so we can reopen the railway.

“We understand the inconvenience this incident will cause for passengers, and I’d like to thank those who travel on this route for their patience and understanding while work continues.”

Phil Campbell, ScotRail customer operations director, added: “We are doing everything we can to keep our customers moving while this issue is resolved, with replacement buses between Airdrie and Bathgate.

“Customers should plan their journey in advance and allow some extra time, as the bus service will take longer.”

STV News is now on WhatsApp

Get all the latest news from around the country

Follow STV News
Follow STV News on WhatsApp

Scan the QR code on your mobile device for all the latest news from around the country

WhatsApp channel QR Code