Breich railway station

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Breich National Rail
Scottish Gaelic: Brìch[1]
Breich railway station. View west towards Addiewell. West Lothian. Shotts Line.jpg
Local authorityWest Lothian
Coordinates55°49′39″N 3°40′03″W / 55.8275°N 3.6675°W / 55.8275; -3.6675Coordinates: 55°49′39″N 3°40′03″W / 55.8275°N 3.6675°W / 55.8275; -3.6675
Grid referenceNS956606
Station codeBRC
Managed byAbellio ScotRail
Number of platforms2
Live arrivals/departures, station information and onward connections
from National Rail Enquiries
Annual rail passenger usage*
2013/14Decrease 64
2014/15Increase 92
2015/16Increase 138
2016/17Decrease 48
2017/18Increase 102
9 July 1869Opened[2]
National RailUK railway stations
* Annual estimated passenger usage based on sales of tickets in stated financial year(s) which end or originate at Breich from Office of Rail and Road statistics. Methodology may vary year on year.

Breich railway station is a rural railway station serving the village of Breich in West Lothian, Scotland. It is located on the Shotts Line, 21 miles (34 km) west of Edinburgh Waverley towards Glasgow Central. It is currently the sixth-least-used station in the UK and the second-least-used in Scotland, after Barry Links.[3]


The station was opened by the Caledonian Railway on their Cleland and Midcalder Line on 9 July 1869.[2] Breich is named after the nearby Breich Water.[4] The station pre-dates the present-day (2015) village of Breich and OS maps show that it has never possessed freight facilities such as loading docks and sidings, etc.[4]

The station in 1962

The surrounding area, although now very rural, was once highly industrialised with several collieries, lime works, iron workings, etc. nearby, together with the Levenseat Branch of the North British Railway and the originally 4ft 6in Scotch gauge Wilsontown, Morningside and Coltness line with its old terminus station of Longridge[4] opened in 1845 and closed in 1848.[5]

A ticket office and waiting room was still present in 1962 as shown by the photograph of that date, together with a linesman's brick hut building, both on the Glasgow bound platform. The final section of the platforms running towards Edinburgh was slightly higher, had larger edging stones and were of a different construction suggesting that they were built at a different date than the rest of the platforms. The station gardens had an unusual diversity of planted shrubs and trees.

The station was rebuilt on the same site in 2018 and it has lost the old pedestrian overbridge and wooden shelter. It has new platforms, two modern style passenger shelters, additional outside seating and electronic travel information displays. Access from platform 1 to 2 is via the rebuilt road overbridge. The car parking area is unchanged and the access is ill defined due to the presence of a crossroads and traffic lights.


Preceding station National Rail National Rail Following station
Addiewell   Abellio ScotRail
Shotts Line
  Historical railways  
Line and station closed
  Caledonian Railway
Cleland and Midcalder Line
Loop line
and station closed
  Caledonian Railway
Cleland and Midcalder Line
Addiewell Loop


Mondays to Saturdays saw one train to Edinburgh and two towards Glasgow Central with no Sunday service.


Monday to Saturdays the station was served by one eastbound towards Edinburgh and one westbound train towards Glasgow Central per day. There was no Sunday service.[6]


From May 2019, an hourly service has been introduced Monday - Saturday and a 2 hourly service on Sundays.

Station usage[edit]

In 2014–15, Breich was the tenth least-used station in Britain, with 92 passenger exits and entries.[7]

West Lothian Council's Route Utilisation Strategy suggests that if there was an increase in service frequency on the Shotts Line more services could stop at Breich. This could help future developments in the Breich and Longridge areas.[8]

Proposed closure[edit]

On 21 June 2017, Network Rail announced that they had begun consultation on the proposed closure of the station due to low patronage and if retained will avoid heavy expenditure to update the station prior to electrification of the line.[9][10] It would have been the first station in Scotland to close in over 30 years.[10]

The overwhelming response to the consultation was in favour of keeping Breich station open. Many respondents wished to see more services calling at Breich Station to increase patronage. It has been confirmed that the station will remain open and plans are being developed to possibly improve services.[11]

The station was closed temporarily from 23 June 2018 for 12 weeks during redevelopment as part of a £2.4 million project to make it suitable for new electric trains. The redevelopment include worked to the platforms in order to make them compliant in both height and length for the new services as well as ensuring ramped access to both platforms and to station facilities such as waiting shelters, CCTV, etc...[12][13]



  1. ^ Brailsford 2017, Gaelic/English Station Index.
  2. ^ a b Butt (1995), page 43
  3. ^
  4. ^ a b c "View: Linlithgowshire Sheet XII.SW (includes: West Calder; Whitburn) - Ordnance Survey Six-inch 2nd and later editions, Scotland, 1892-1960". Retrieved 6 December 2017.
  5. ^ Butt (1995), page 149
  6. ^ Table 224 National Rail timetable, May 2016
  7. ^ "Revealed: Britain's busiest and quietest stations". BBC News. 15 December 2015.
  8. ^ "Network Rail - resource not found" (PDF). Retrieved 6 December 2017.
  9. ^ "Breich station: proposed closure – public consultation – Network Rail". Retrieved 6 December 2017.
  10. ^ a b "Station with three passengers faces closure". BBC News. BBC. 22 June 2017. Retrieved 22 June 2017.
  11. ^ "Transport User Voice – What's happening in Scotland? - Transport Focus". Retrieved 6 December 2017.
  12. ^
  13. ^


  • Brailsford, Martyn, ed. (December 2017) [1987]. Railway Track Diagrams 1: Scotland & Isle of Man (6th ed.). Frome: Trackmaps. ISBN 978-0-9549866-9-8.
  • Butt, R. V. J. (1995). The Directory of Railway Stations: details every public and private passenger station, halt, platform and stopping place, past and present (1st ed.). Sparkford: Patrick Stephens Ltd. ISBN 978-1-85260-508-7. OCLC 60251199.
  • Jowett, Alan (March 1989). Jowett's Railway Atlas of Great Britain and Ireland: From Pre-Grouping to the Present Day (1st ed.). Sparkford: Patrick Stephens Ltd. ISBN 978-1-85260-086-0. OCLC 22311137.
  • Jowett, Alan (2000). Jowett's Nationalised Railway Atlas (1st ed.). Penryn, Cornwall: Atlantic Transport Publishers. ISBN 978-0-906899-99-1. OCLC 228266687.
  • Yonge, John (May 1987). Gerald Jacobs (ed.). British Rail Track Diagams - Book 1: ScotRail (1st ed.). Exeter: Quail Map Company. ISBN 0-9006-0948-6.
  • Yonge, John (February 1993). Gerald Jacobs (ed.). Railway Track Diagams - Book 1: Scotland and the Isle of Man (2nd ed.). Exeter: Quail Map Company. ISBN 0-9006-0995-8.
  • Yonge, John (April 1996). Gerald Jacobs (ed.). Railway Track Diagams - Book 1: Scotland and the Isle of Man (3rd ed.). Exeter: Quail Map Company. ISBN 1-8983-1919-7.
  • Yonge, John (2007). Gerald Jacobs (ed.). Railway Track Diagams - Book 1: Scotland & Isle of Man (Quail Track Plans) (fifth ed.). Bradford on Avon: Trackmaps (formerly Quail Map Co). ISBN 978-0-9549866-3-6. OCLC 79435248.

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