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Main track-laying begins on Borders Railway

Almost 30 miles of rail will be installed along the Borders Railway route in the next two months, as the £350m project enters the main phase of track-laying, Network Rail has confirmed. 

Transport minister Keith Brown and Mark Carne, chief executive of Network Rail, visited the newly-constructed Shawfair station to officially launch the latest phase of the programme. 

It is expected that by the end of the year, a state-of-the-art rail installation machine, operated by BAM Nuttall, will complete the Borders route. The machine, which is capable of laying over 1km of track per day, will install rails onto 90,000 sleepers laid out along the route and link up specialist sections of track that have already been installed at key locations. 


Construction firm BAM is building the line for Network Rail at a cost of £294m, with the remaining £60m going on land purchase, preparation work and delay costs. 

Once complete, the project will re-establish passenger services for the first time in over 40 years from Edinburgh through Midlothian to Tweedbank in the Scottish Borders. Brown said:  “This project isn’t just about building a railway – it’s about restoring links for communities that will result in employment, study and social opportunities. 

“With construction due to complete next summer and the line to enter service on September 6, 2015, the new railway will offer a fast and efficient alternative to the congested local road network allowing passengers to travel from Tweedbank to Edinburgh in around an hour at peak times.” 


Once the rails are in place the project team will install signalling and communications equipment as well as complete the construction and fit-out of seven new stations – at Shawfair, Eskbank, Newtongrange, Gorebridge, Stow, Galashiels and Tweedbank. 

Carne added: “By the end of this year, rails will connect seven stations along the route to the national railway network for the first time in forty-five years. 

“When services start running next September, the railway will form a new economic artery for the region, providing opportunities for employment, education and tourism.” 

(People Image: Mark Carne (front left), Keith Brown (front right), Nissar Mohammed (BAM project director) back left and Hugh Wark (NR project director) back right.)

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