Project Update - June (1)

Construction of the Borders Railway is all but complete. Some landscaping and finishing works remain, but the railway is on schedule to open in September as planned.

Driver training began on the route today, Monday 8 June, following a proving train which ran along the route on 7 June, calling at all stations to measure stepping distances between the train and the platform. Driver training will take place throughout the summer in advance of the start of passenger services on 6 September.

A number of special events have marked the completion of construction not least the event at Waverley Station last week that saw a train named in honour of veteran railway campaigner, Madge Elliot.

Madge, who led the campaign against the closure of the Waverley line in 1969 and was a founding member of the Campaign for Borders Rail, was greeted by Cabinet Secretary for Infrastructure, Investment and Cities, Keith Brown, Network Rail project director, Hugh Wark, and Freightliner Heavy Haul managing director, Paul Smart, before unveiling a name plate on one of the Freightliner locomotives which will be used to maintain the Borders Railway in the future.

Meanwhile the team has been completing the final elements to make the railway operational. Specialist contractors have been working alongside Network Rail’s asset management and maintenance teams to test signalling, complete power connections to the railway and install telecommunications and automatic warning systems for train drivers.  Work to secure the route and make it safe for passenger use is also on-going. Permanent fencing has been erected to restrict access to the railway. 

In parallel with the finishing works, Network Rail’s test trains have been running to analyse the alignment and geometry of the recently installed rails so that any inconsistencies can be identified and corrected.

Construction on all the new stations on the railway is almost complete, with work throughout May and into June focused on the surfaces of the platforms, car parks and access pathways and roads. Station signs have been installed along with other station furniture such as waiting shelters and seating.  Stations will not be open to the public until services begin in September.

Our final commemorative newsletter will be issued this week; you can also view this on our website. The final edition, which includes a celebratory note from the First Minister and a timeline of the railway’s construction, has all the information you need if you would like to find out more about the new railway and train services.

Keep up to date via our news pages and if you would like more information, please contact us at: info@bordersrailway.co.uk. Keep following @BordersRailway on Twitter for all the latest news and updates.