A SIGNIFICANT milestone has been reached ahead of a second platform being officially opened at Dunbar Railway Station.

A footbridge linking the two platforms was put in place during the early hours of Monday, with the new platform expected to be operational by the end of the month.

Engineers started work on the site in May, with the £13 million scheme delivering a new 271-metre second platform and a fully accessible steel footbridge, with lifts also included for disabled access.

Ward councillor Norman Hampshire, who lives near to the station, described the work as “quite spectacular”.

He said: “Because of where I live, I’m very close to the action that is taking place.

“I did watch [the footbridge] get put in place. It was quite a substantial piece of engineering work taking place but I feel the contractor has done everything they could to minimise disruption to the local community.

“It is difficult trying to do something like this on the East Coast Mainline and they can only do it when the power of the overhead lines is switched off.”

Twice strong winds and poor weather delayed the work, with the staircases linking the footbridge also in place.

Instead, it was early on Monday morning that the footbridge was finally installed.

Mr Hampshire told the Courier that the footbridge was lifted into place between 1am and 2.40am, with work then continuing on the site until about 6am.

The new platform will provide increased capacity and improve operational flexibility, with all trains heading north or south currently having to stop at the same platform.

Construction work on the new platform, which will be used by northbound services, is expected to continue into the new year.

A spokesman for Network Rail confirmed that the lift of the footbridge had gone well and they were still on course for completion.

Plans are also being drawn up for a new footpath, which would link homes in the south of Dunbar with the new platform.

East Lothian Council is negotiating with a landowner about the potential of a footpath, which would save people in Hallhill from having to travel to the opposite side of the line to then cross the footbridge back to the platform.

A spokeswoman for East Lothian Council said: “We are concluding discussions with the landowner.

“We have a planning application ready, which we hope to submit in November subject to necessary agreements being in place.

“We are looking to start construction work in the New Year.”