Borders Railway Bridge Unwrapped For Christmas

Holly green wrought iron bridge restored to its former glory

The first restored Borders Railway bridge has been unwrapped by the project team just it in time for Christmas, with a brand new ‘holly green’ paint job.

Crookston Mill Railway Bridge, also known as UB53, is 150 years old and has been restored to its former glory after 5 months of work. Although the painting is complete, there is still a lot of other works to carry out before the bridge is ready for track.

UB53 After Restoration

UB53 After Restoration

The wrought iron girder bridge crosses Gala Water north of Fountainhall and is one of 12 bridges along the new Borders Railway route due to be given the same intensive treatment. 

The bridge has been covered from view by a white polythene cover to protect the surrounding environment while restoration was undertaken, but has now been revealed and will become a prominent feature of the new railway.

UB53 Before Restoration (1)

UB53 Before Restoration

The construction team undertook masonry work to restore the original stone abutments and wing walls of the bridge as well as grit-blasting and re-coating the metal girders.

Hugh Wark, project manager, Network Rail, said: “This is the first of the original bridges to be revealed on the Borders Railway. Uncovering the bridge marks a major milestone towards the start of track-laying next year and comes as an early Christmas present for the project.

“We have spent five months strengthening, blasting and painting the railway bridge to make it fit for purpose and able to carry trains again after more than 40 years. Although the bridge has been painted a festive ‘holly green’, this colour was chosen to allow it to blend into the environment rather than to reflect the time of year.”

Work is continuing on the other original wrought iron bridges along the line and will gradually be uncovered next year. Once completed the timber bridge deck and the railway track will be laid ready for the trains to run in autumn 2015.