Over the last few week’s the main activities has been keep on top of the vegetation, it might have been lacking the usual deluge of rain we often get at Birkhill the second growing ingredient, the sun, has been in abundance and as so the Birkhill spring has managed to supply sufficient water for the bedding plants!

The Lamp posts have now been given a lick of paint and the fancy moldings at the top stripped back of the many layers of paint to reveal more of the cast design. The platform edge has also had its white line spruced up and the main gates repainted at the entrance so hopefully looking a little more loved.

Birkhill Update

General outdoor maintenance has been the order of the day, strimming the East embankment which was cleared six or so weeks ago, its hoped by regularly trimming will keep the weeds, brambles and nettles away.  Three of the four new interpretation boards have also been installed. The fourth, for the footbridge, will be fitted once an appropriate fixing system has been worked out.

DOWT Weekend

Its that time of year again at Birkhill with the first of three planned Days Out With Thomas events. Great to see so many happy faces on the platform both young and old alike!

Monifieth Railway Station – From Bust to Bloom News Article

Just by chance through google news on my phone, the following article by Graeme Strachan of The Courier newspaper popped up.

It provides a greater in-site of the history of the Station building whilst at Monifieth, Glasgow’s exhibition and finally its arrival  here at Birkhill.  A really good read and facts that we did not know about!

Monifieth railway station rose from the ashes and went from bust to bloom


Surprise at Birkhill

Its not very often to have a steam push and pull to watch while painting but today was the day just for that, with the recently repainted and renumber Caly & No1 (aka Thomas) top and tailing the service train (apologies for the sound quality)

Meanwhile painting continued on the station building exterior and a bit of gardening and ground levelling to side of the Lamp Hut to add to the variety of work.

Now the Weather is Warmer

The thermometer is now finally staying above freezing we can, at long last, get to finish off the painting started in October ’22 with the final coats being applied to the Lamp Hut seeing two sides completed today, the ground level on the north side is a tad high so will need to be relevelled prior to painting.


Release the Brakes! Mk1 BCK No. 21241 Overhaul Appeal

Please see the following link for the spring 2023 appeal to support the significant forecasts costs that will be incurred during the overhaul of British Railways Mk1 Brake Coach No. 21241.

Release The Brakes – 2023 Fundraising Appeal

The deteriorating condition of our coaching stock will not be news to many of our members given recent given recent service cancellations; the overhaul of this critical vehicle will help to support operations at Bo’ness for many years to come as, without an operational brake coach, it is difficult to run an economic train service.

It should also be noted that the Board are exploring funding options to try and get refurbished Mk1 coaches undercover to prevent deterioration again in the future.

How to donate to ‘Release the Brakes’ Appeal:

  • Online Donations can be made using CAF Donate:
  • Cheque payments can be made by completing the attached form and enclosing a cheque payable to the ‘Scottish Railway Preservation Society’. Please send the form and cheque to: SRPS Spring Appeal, c/o Alastair George, 4 Baberton Mains Avenue, Edinburgh, EH14 3EQ.
  • Bank Transfers (preferred as free of charge!) can be made to the Society’s Donation Account:
    • Account Name: The Scottish Railway Preservation Society
  • Sort Code: 83-52-00
  • Account Number: 00675411
  • If you opt for this method please complete as appropriate the attached form, scan or photograph it and email the image to

Thank you for your generous ongoing support,

Andrew Fowler

Fundraising Team

East Embankment Veggie Clearance Update

Over the last few dry day shifts work has progressed well in clearing three years of vegetation (mainly 3m plus long brambles, raspberries, nettles & ferns), which has turned out to be a hard graft exercise to say the least.  Its all in a good cause, well two causes, one to make the view a little more attractive and secondly to help determine what is going to be needed with respect to the 2nd platform work. At the time of typing approximately 5m wide section still left to do, before going back on hands and knees to dig out as many of the roots as possible!

When the weather has been poor the interior of the station has had a touch up with a view of being able to open up the main room in the not so distant future.

Today at Birkhill

Very much a groundhog day as work continued on tidying up the East Platform embankment so that it can be assessed for landscaping, a few more shifts should see the clearance of the brambles & nettles completed…just need to add a new task to the monthly maintenance plan to keep the growth down going forwards.

The general spring clean in the station building itself has started, washing down the floors as the first task to be done to determine if they require a lick of paint.

Birkhill Update

Its been a while since the Santa runs, but that doesn’t mean we have been doing nothing and taking it easy over the last few months, the usual winter garden maintenance certainly to that!!  After sorting out the West Platform embankment gardens work has been focused on tidying up the East Platform embankment which is proving to be a challenge to say the least , however progress is progress even in small hits and the hard work is now showing dividends, the fence line with the farm field is now clear which is a great improvement visually.

I thought taking work home was only a thing you do during your working life but  I guess not! the second of the two lanterns recovered from a potential scrap man has now been installed. This particular one was in pretty bad shape but has come through and doesn’t look to bad! Next steps are to repaint the lamp posts and then run in electrical feeds so they can shine again!