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Borders Railway contract awarded to Bam Nuttall

Bam Nuttall has been awarded a £220m contract for the design and construction of the Borders Railway. Network Rail is delivering the project on behalf of the Scottish Government, and it is due to open in 2015.

The project will re-establish a passenger rail link for the first time in over 40 years from Edinburgh through Midlothian to Tweedbank, including 30 miles of new railway with three existing and seven new stations.

Around 500 jobs will be created on the project and the railway is expected to bring major economic and social development opportunities, as part of a wider investment in transport infrastructure in Scotland.

Network Rail will begin construction of the line in early 2013 and will commission the new railway and stations by summer 2015. The capital construction cost of the line will total £294m.

The seven new stations are: Shawfair, Eskbank, Newtongrange, Gorebridge, Stow, Galashiels and Tweedbank.

The project was originally up for tender in 2010, but private companies dropped out of the competition due to “commercial reasons” and the process was scrapped in September 2011.

It has been heavily criticised for long delays and overspends.

David Simpson, Network Rail route managing director for Scotland, said: “The appointment of BAM Nuttall as our main contractor signals the start of the delivery of the new railway for the communities it will serve.

“BAM Nuttall has already been working closely with Network Rail in drawing up initial designs for the new line and can now carry that momentum into the delivery of the main construction phase as we work to complete the new line for the start of services in 2015.”

Stephen Fox, chief executive of BAM Nuttall added: “We are delighted to be starting work on delivering this significant rail project on behalf of the people of Scotland and our customer Network Rail.

“This scheme brings together the engineering strengths of the BAM Group and will create significant local employment opportunities. In addition it will provide a much needed rail link to those rural communities living in the Scottish borders region”.

Transport minister Keith Brown said: “The awarding of this contract so quickly after Network Rail took over delivery of the Borders Railway is a huge step forward for this vital project.

“Work is already well underway on the site and the people of the Borders and Midlothian areas will soon be able to see the actual construction begin and the Borders Railway begin to take shape. And all the partners will continue to work together to see if we can find a way to deliver the project even earlier than 2015.

“This is a very exciting milestone for a community which has waited over 40 years for the return of the railway and they will soon begin to reap the very real benefits of this project in terms of investment to the area, increased tourism and improved accessibility to employment opportunities.”

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