New lease of life for Midlothian viaduct as Borders Railway progresses

A Midlothian viaduct dating back over 160 years has been put back into use as construction work on the Borders Railway gets underway at various locations across Midlothian and the Scottish Borders.

Newbattle Viaduct

To help reduce construction traffic on the busy A7 during this time, Newbattle Viaduct has been given a new lease of life and will start ferrying construction materials across it this month.

The viaduct, which dates back to 1847, will see a number of 8-wheel tipper lorries transport spoil from a cutting in Newtongrange, across the viaduct, to an embankment south west of Hardengreen Roundabout. It’s expected that 8000 cubic metres of spoil will be transported via the viaduct over the next eight weeks.

The use of the historic viaduct comes ahead of major piling works beginning at Hardengreen and Gore Glen to make way for the construction of new bridges.

In addition to the piling works beginning, construction has already started on the temporary road diversion for motorists using the city bypass (A720), which will be put into use in October this year. The temporary access will allow the construction team to build a cutting under the existing road to make way for the new line.

Hugh Wark, Project Director, Network Rail, said:

“Construction activity across Midlothian has begun in earnest and marks a major step forward in making the railway a reality. Over the coming weeks and months, local residents and commuters will start to see a lot of activity happening around the area, and we’re keen to ensure people are kept informed every step of the way.

“By using the viaduct to transport materials, we will help reduce the number of construction vehicles that need to use roads over that short but busy stretch of the A7.

“We thank local residents for their continued support and patience while these works are carried out, and we will be continuing to meet with the local community and stakeholders as work progresses.”

The piling works are expected to begin on 1st July at Gore Glen, and then on 9th July at Hardengreen Roundabout, and will run until early August. The initial work will see earthwork ramps created to allow for the piling rigs to gain access to the site.

More information on the temporary road access being put in place on the A720 this autumn will be available over the coming months.

Should you have any queries about how the works might affect you, please call a member of the team on 0845 604 4146, or email You can also follow progress on Twitter via @BordersRailway.