Project Update - September 2013

The construction of the Borders Railway is now in full flow and signs of construction work can be easily seen along the length of the line, from construction works at the new Tweedbank Station to the start of works at Edinburgh City By-pass.

Much of the old track-bed is in good shape and we are using many of the existing bridges and tunnels. However, in order to do so, we have to ensure that they meet today’s modern engineering, health and safety standards.

Work has already begun on a number of bridges, embankments and tunnels, ensuring that they are safe. You will also see distinctive white encapsulation encasing some of the old railway bridges while we blast and paint the metalwork. However, new bridges are being constructed, most notably under the A720 Edinburgh City Bypass and over the A7 at Hardengreen Roundabout and at Gore Glen.

The works at the Edinburgh City bypass are essential to allow for the construction of a new railway tunnel under the bypass. To ensure a smooth flow of traffic, a newly constructed four lane road has been built alongside the existing bypass. This temporary road will be in place until around May 2014, when the works are expected to be complete. While we are doing everything to minimise disruption, including adverts on the radio and in local papers, some disruption is likely, as cars transfer to the new, temporary road.

Works have also begun in Galashiels. The construction of the railway means that we have had to close the Black Path and diversions for walkers are being put in place. However, please note that there is also flood defence work being carried out by Scottish Borders Council in the Langlee area. We are working with the Council to ensure a co-ordinated approach to reduce disruption. Winston Road is also due to close on 23 Sep to allow and new bridge to be built, so local diversions will be put in place.

As we head towards Autumn, the construction teams will be extremely busy, marking the start of the most intense period of construction. Please bear in mind that with such a busy period there will be more lorry movements, particularly on the A7, and we encourage motorists to factor this in to their journey times.

The construction of major bridges will also continue and we will be moving utilities and installing drainage channels in Galashiels.

Another busy month awaits for the team!

Hugh Wark, Network Rail Project Director