Minister visit to Galashiels for Borders Railway worksShare
The line will see rail services return to Midlothian and the Borders for the first time in 40 years, as well as creating hundreds of jobs for the area.
During his visit, Mr Brown saw how work is progressing on the Scottish Borders Council Galashiels Inner Relief Road, which aims to reduce traffic congestion in the town.
As part of these works, Scottish Borders Council is constructing a retaining wall and diverting utilities as part of more than £700,000 construction investment.
Carrying out the railway works at the same time as the Galashiels Inner Relief Road will remove the need for any future multiple lane closures on the A7, minimising disturbance to road users in the town when the main railway construction works begin.
Mr Brown said:
"This project is a sign of the Scottish Government's commitment to developing rail services and so I have been delighted to come along and see how the groundwork is beginning to take shape here in Galashiels.
"The town's new Inner Relief Road will assist the construction of this hugely important scheme, bringing the very real benefits of around 300 jobs and vital investment to Galashiels and the rest of the Scottish Borders, whilst causing as little disruption as possible.
"As well as the more obvious jobs and investment benefits, this line will also cut carbon emissions and congestion on the roads.
"Studies have shown is will also reduce the number of road accidents on the A7 and A68 by approximately 10 accidents every year.
"That is why we in the Scottish Government and the other partners, including Scottish Borders Council, can once again state our commitment to this project."
Mr Brown visited the site along with Scottish Borders Council leader Councillor David Parker to see the Scottish Governments £731,000 contribution to a £1.44m package of works on the Galashiels Inner Relief Road.
Councillor David Parker, Leader of Scottish Borders Council, said:
"I was pleased that Transport Minister Keith Brown visited the Borders today to look at progress with the Borders railway.
“This year will herald the start of full scale construction of the line and a significant amount of work is being done already to make the line a reality.
“I am thrilled at the prospect of the line's return to the Borders as it will provide significant economic benefit to our region.
“In a relatively short space of time people will see the reality of construction of the railway and I have no doubt that the scheme will be a resounding success."