Essential Galashiels road closure brings town a step closer to new railway

The team delivering the Borders Railway will be closing Winston Road in Galashiels for up to 12 months from 23rd September, as part of crucial construction progress through the town.

Network Rail, along with contractors BAM, will be working to excavate tonnes of material which has lain under Winston Road for over 40 years. This will allow the new railway bed to be constructed at the right level and for a new road bridge to then be built over the railway.

Hugh Wark, Project Director for the Borders Railway, explains:

“The new railway will run at approximately the same level as the historic line. To achieve this, we will need to use specialist machinery to remove large amounts of material, including the old bridge that was buried in the early 1970s.

“Digging down in this way will mean that we can construct the new rail bed in the correct position and can then build a new bridge over the railway, linking up with the existing road. It is a major and time consuming engineering challenge, which is why Winston Road will be closed for up to a year.”

Local diversions, using Melrose Road and Tweed Road, will be in place for the duration of the works and the temporary footpath diversion - between Tweedbank and Galashiels town centre - will be rerouted through Langlee using the footbridge at Dale Street. Winston Road is expected to reopen in autumn 2014.

Hugh Wark added:

“Using local diversion routes we will do all we can to minimise disruption to drivers and pedestrians. We are very grateful to the local community for their patience as we work to see Galashiels once again served by rail for the first time in over 40 years.”

The closure of the road marks one of the most intensive periods of work in the Galashiels area with the other busiest period expected in spring 2014. Other essential work being undertaken in the town includes drainage installation, utility diversions, station construction and, during 2014, the first installations of the rail systems.