Call for new Grangemouth railway station

The now-demolished Grangemouth railway station building, pictured here in 1975
The now-demolished Grangemouth railway station building, pictured here in 1975

Falkirk Council has revealed that it is reviewing potential locations across the district which could be used for new railway stations.

The news comes amid renewed calls for the re-opening of Grangemouth station, which closed to passengers in 1968.

The port town is still served by a working railway line, but it has been exclusively used by freight trains for more than four decades.

John Angel, head of planning and transportation at Falkirk Council, said: “In conjunction with the regional transport partnership SEStran, the council has hired a consultant to review options for potential bids to the new Scottish Stations Investment Fund.

“We expect to receive the consultant’s report in time to be presented to the Executive in October.”

Mr Angel confirmed that a site in Union Road, Grangemouth, is safeguarded in the council’s Local Plan as a possible location for a new railway station.

Walter Inglis, the former chairman of the recently-disbanded Grangemouth Community Council, is a long-term proponent of bringing back passenger services to the port.

He said: “The community council fought for many years to make the case for reinstatement of a rail station.

“Most recently, the community council submitted a response to Falkirk Council’s draft transport strategy, in which it again identified the benefits - both socially and economically - of reinstating a rail station at Grangemouth.

“This point is not lost on Falkirk Council as they have, as part of the emerging Local Plan, safeguarded a site for a rail station at Grangemouth.

“What is lacking is the finance and the political will to get it done.”

The original Grangemouth station closed on January 29, 1968. Its closure was blamed at the time on declining passenger numbers.

But proponents of new stations point to other re-openings in recent years, such as in Alloa and Larkhall, which have proved far more popular than planners originally envisaged.

John Munro, a retired railwayman who worked at Grangemouth station in the 1960s, said he doubted that it would ever re-open.

“It was previously suggested that a new station be built at Fouldubs to be nearer the majority of the town’s population,” he said.

“But because of the number of freight trains running to the refinery and docks this was not feasible.”