Railway Rock Blasting Scheduled

Engineers building the Borders Railway will continue the removal of rock from the Falahill area using blasting techniques from early next week.

The first blast is scheduled for Monday 16th September, with further blasts planned twice per week for a total of 14 weeks.

Falahill Aerial _Looking South A7_resized

The blasting, which will be scheduled to take place at approximately 13.45hrs will require short precautionary closures of the A7 in the vicinity on Falahill. The traffic light controlled stoppages at Heriot Way and Falahill Farm will last for a maximum of ten minutes but will be shortened where circumstances allow.

Blasting involves the use of high explosives. The process will be closely controlled by highly trained specialists and, while no rock is expected to be discharged from the site, the project team are taking no chances. After each blast the road will be inspected before reopening. 

Material removed through blasting and continued excavation is being used to build road embankments further along the route in Heriot and Fountainhall.

Hugh Wark, Project Director for the Borders Railway, said:

“We are fortunate that the majority of the Borders Railway route follows the former railway alignment, however, over some short sections, the route varies slightly. This is the case in Falahill, where a different railway and road alignment requires the removal of some significant sections of rock.

“The simplest, least disruptive technique to remove this rock is to use targeted blasting. This work will be controlled by highly trained professionals and we will take every possible measure to ensure that this work is carried out safely.

“During the blasting period, we will have to close the A7 briefly but will keep closures to an absolute minimum. We apologise in advance for any disruption caused during this time.”

Twenty four hours ahead of each blast, local properties will be sent a warning letter outlining the work to be undertaken. A warning siren will also be sounded five minutes and one minute before the blast.