Generations of Dumbartonians used the ‘Dark Erch’ as a short cut to the Common.

Picture by David Tait

Light at last in the Dark Erch as railway bridge spruce-up is completed

By Bill Heaney

There have been some near the bone remarks and cynical comments following the completion of the work at one of the rail bridges undergoing a major face-lift in Station Road, Dumbarton.

Social media wags are having a field day after the bridge at Bonhill Road/Bankend road was replaced at a cost of £2 million and turned out to be to the wrong specifications, necessitating a speed limited to be imposed on the main Glasgow to Balloch and Helensburgh to Edinburgh 500 yards from Dumbarton Central Station.

Danielle Donnachie said: “I hope they haven’t miscalculated this one too 🙈😂.”

Christopher Cain said he hoped the pigeons would be happy with the new job on this bridge which is opposite the old Railway Tavern and has been known for the past 150 years as “the Dark Erch”.

Photographer David Tait, who took this picture said the pigeons “shouldn’t have a problem pulling with their fancy new gaff”.

Nina Ward said: “It looks great. Be glad when the road is open. Just hope they don’t need to adjust this one to the correct size and take it down again!”

Work at what was formerly the main entrance to Dumbarton Central Station is still ongoing but it too hasn’t had its troubles to seek since a girl was knocked down there by a car driven by someone who appears to have ignored the warning signs.

People have also been asking if anything will ever be done to the bridge at Dumbarton East where roosting pigeons proliferate.

Jim Crosthwaite said Dumbarton East “is a tip. It’s a waste of time and money unless you first get rid of the ‘homing pigeons’.

“The DE & C Community Council has written to Network Rail (with photos) about the entrance.

“It is unsightly, unhygienic, unhealthy and probably lots more ‘un’ words.

“Our councillors also tell us they can’t get any answers out of NR).  We did get some nets, but they were not sealed and some of the birds got inside trapped and died.  I understand that to stop them breeding at that location they need to be made sterile.”

William Giffen said: “I totally agree with you, it’s a disgusting bridge to walk under and the pigeon problem should have been dealt with when they did the refurbishment.”

He added: “I just passed under Dumbarton East bridge [where there is] a big sign pointing the direction of Castle for tourists.

“I wonder what they think when they get s*** on by a pigeon.”

The East and Central station bridges in Dumbarton.  Pictures by Jim Crosthwaite and Bill Heaney

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