A timetable for delivery

While advance work to fill mine works and remove vegetation have been underway for several months, earth works involving the removal of thousands of tonnes of spoil will begin in Midlothian in late March. New bridges and roads will also be built as part of the £295m construction project.

Similar earth works will become evident right along the route by May this year, with work on the large structures also starting during the summer months. A diversionary route on the city bypass to the east on Sherrifhall roundabout will be built during the summer. The diversion will be in place by September in order to allow engineers to create a bridge for the railway to pass underneath the road.

Further major civil engineering projects will also become evident at Hardengreen roundabout where a major viaduct will cross the A7, at Gore Glen, where a further bridge will cross the A7 and at Falahill where a new road and rail interface will be required. In addition, seven new stations will be built in Shawfair, Eskbank, Newtongrange, Gorebridge, Stow, Galashiels and Tweedbank.

Hugh Wark, project director for Network Rail said:

“Undoubtedly, the next 12 to 18 months will be the most intensive period for the construction of the railway. There are numerous locations where the railway runs through cuttings which must be excavated or along embankments which need to be built. Our biggest challenges will be delivering this project in locations where it comes close to communities or impacts busy roads such as the city bypass.

“In truth, however, everyone who lives in Midlothian and the Borders or travels regularly on the A7 will be impacted by the work on Borders Railway in one way or another. We’re committed to keeping disturbance to a minimum but undoubtedly the number of trucks required to move earth and transfer plant machinery and materials will result in increased road traffic.

“We know from experience that this railway is generating a huge level of enthusiasm and interest in the area and that there’s great deal of anticipation to see services operating along the route. Before that happens, however, there’s a huge amount of hard work to do and we’d like to thank everyone in advance for their patience and understanding while we get the job done.”