Project Update - October

The formal launch of the main rail installation phase took place on Thursday 9 October at Shawfair with Transport Minister, Keith Brown and Network Rail CEO, Mark Carne. This followed months of preparation of the track bed itself as well as laying sleepers.

The rail installation machine will now fit the majority of the 30 mile track between Newcraighall to the south of Edinburgh and Tweedbank in the Borders by the end of the year. You can find out more information on our track-laying page at here.   As well as the rail installation machine, further rail machinery will offload ballast, compress the track, weld the rails together and tidy up the track area.

Keep up to date and share your thoughts on the new railway by using #tracklaying on Twitter.

There has also been substantial progress on the construction of new stations and footbridges along the route.

The platform surface and footbridge at Shawfair station is now in place and the footbridge at Newton Village has been installed. Eskbank, Newtongrange and Gorebridge stations further down the line are not far behind. Footbridges at Newtongrange have also been constructed and are soon to be opened to the public.

The team at the central section has been working on the railway’s construction around the A7. The flyover which passes over the new railway at Falahill has now opened. The new road bridge connecting Heriot village to the A7 is now open and the pedestrian underpass below the new railway is also nearing completion. The Stow station platform is taking shape and the road bridge passing over the railway close to the station has been strengthened. A permanent sound barrier between StowPrimary School and the station is also being erected.

At the south end of the railway, a retaining wall running alongside the railway in Galashiels has been erected to support the track bed.

As the rail installation machine progresses towards Tweedbank, the railway becomes ‘live’. It is essential that the public does not try to access the railway at any time. Fencing is now in place along large sections of the railway to stop the public and animals from trespassing onto the tracks.

In Langlee, Gala, Winston Road is still expected to open by the end of October. In the north, Millerhill Road (A6106), connecting Millerhill with the Sheriffhall roundabout, is now set to open in spring 2015 due to the necessity for further mining remediation and utility works,

The team will provide updates on the track-laying process through our Twitter page @BordersRailway using #tracklaying. Look out for our latest newsletter online to see more pictures of the track-laying and the process in more detail.

Tune into our latest podcast with Network Rail’s Senior Communications Manager, Craig Bowman, and BAM Communications Manager, Stuart Mackay.