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Bridge must allow for rail expansion – CBR

The Borders Railway should be double-tracked in the future to meet rising demand, campaigners have argued. The call comes as Network Rail plans to build a bridge to carry the A7 over the single-tracked railway at Falahill.

The Campaign for Borders Rail (CBR) say the route should be ‘future-proofed’, with a wider bridge to avoid rebuilding over a live railway in the future, which could cost significantly more.

CBR chair Simon Walton warned against introducing an “insurmountable obstacle to capacity enhancement” and said a wider bridge “would demonstrate that the same high standard applied to the scheme's road requirements is being observed for the Borders railway itself”.

A Transport Scotland spokesperson said: “While complete future proofing of the railway is not cost effective, we have made provisions where possible including passive provision for future operations of four trains per hour in each direction from Newcraighall to Gorebridge.

“In addition, Network Rail is also currently considering alternative solutions and opportunities at Falahill.”

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John   13/09/2013 at 14:39

This project HAS to include the opportunity to widwn the former "Waverley" route to double track. Goodness knows why on earth it isn't being built as double track now; it beggars belief that this is being so short sightedly handled, especially in the light of the billions of Pounds / Euros being thrown at HS2 which does not have the potential cost / benefit ration that the "Waverley" route can deliver on both freight and passenger numbers.

Brian   14/09/2013 at 08:30

As a percentage of the overall project cost; how much extra will a wider bridge cost?

Pedr Jarvis   15/09/2013 at 13:06

Do you remember that when the Dornoch Firth road bridge was built, to economise by a comparatively small sum, they failed to add a railway? So there is some extra 40km of track through largely profitless country being maintained instead. It would be pleasant to think that now there is an autonomous Scottish Gov't., a more sensible decision will be made this time.

Ricp   16/09/2013 at 13:08

No question that any new road-bridge or other structure is designed to allow for double-tracking in the future. This could eventually become another Anglo-Scottish route again from Carlisle to Edinburgh, so penny-pinching now will be as big an error as the original closure. Compare this with the valiant effort made by the Bluebell Railway, where to get the scheme finished within a reduced budget, they have ended up with a single trackbed at Imberhorne, not a double tracked route, as it was back in BR days. Design capability for double-tracking with the minimum of disturbance must be built in NOW.

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