PROJECT UPDATE - DECEMBER 2014
Although significant progress has been made with the track installation over the past few months, the team paused for reflection last month when a project colleague was seriously injured whilst off-loading sleepers. Additional procedures have been put in place and work on the project has now resumed. Over 75% of track laying is now complete.
The majority of track work and associated construction will come to an end on Tuesday 23 December for the holiday period although there will be some minor works taking place during the festive period. The main construction work will then resume on Monday 5 January. Our communication channels will, however, remain open for anyone who needs to get in touch. Sites will be secured and the British Transport Police will continue to patrol the railway during the festive break.
Over the last few months, access roads at Heriot and Fountainhall and the road over the railway at Falahill have opened; however, landscaping and minor works are still to be completed in those areas. The one-way system in Galashiels which has allowed for the construction of the new station and a stronger retaining wall has been lifted in time for peak Christmas trade. The one-way system will need to be put back in place from 5 to 23 January to complete the works.
New pedestrian footbridges to maintain connections for communities along the route have been a recent focus for the team. The final footbridge for the South and Central sections of the railway was installed at Low Buckholmside at the end of November. In the New Year, one final footbridge at Harelaw will be constructed.
Between Tweedbank and Galashiels, Redbridge Viaduct will be closed until the 19 December to prepare for the arrival of the new railway. In partnership with Scottish Borders Council, the footpath crossing the viaduct will be resurfaced, street lighting fitted and fencing between the footpath and railway put in place.
Once the rails are in place, ballast can be distributed by rail. This will relieve the road network of construction traffic. As ballast and engineering trains continue to travel up and down the railway finishing the track, in the New Year the team’s focus will turn towards completing structures as well as fencing, communication wiring and vegetation management.
In 2015, up to construction completion in June, the team will work on making the railway station’s operational. Both Shawfair and Eskbank stations are already close to completion, whilst the station platforms for Newtongrange, Gorebridge and Stow are now in place with car park works underway. Things are also taking shape at Tweedbank and Galashiels, including the new transport interchange in Galashiels town centre which is being constructed by Scottish Borders Council.
Keep up to date with track laying and the latest news through our Twitter page @BordersRailway or if you would like more information, please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.