Latest Rail News

14.08.14

First rail tracks laid down on Borders Railway

The first rail tracks have been laid on the £350m Borders Railway project, which is due to re-open after a 46 year gap in just over 12 months.

In what has been called a “major construction milestone” the first section of concrete slab track – an alternative to traditional ballast – has been laid in Bowshank Tunnel, near Galashiels.

The activity saw a 25-strong team work for two weeks to lay the concrete on the northbound section of the track through the 200m Victorian tunnel. Work is now underway to complete the southbound section in the coming weeks.

Although traditional ballast track will be used along all other parts of the new 30-mile Borders Railway route, which runs between Edinburgh and Tweedbank, concrete slab track was used in Bowshank Tunnel as a result of the height of the old structure.

In the autumn, a specialist rail installation machine will begin laying the track for the route. And by the time this work begins, all rail bridges and track bed preparations are expected to be completed.

Hugh Wark, project director at Network Rail, said: “Laying the slab track is an essential part of the preparation works ahead of the track laying taking place in the autumn. 

“With just over a year to go until the first trains start running, we are looking forward to marking many more exciting milestones over the coming weeks and months as we move closer towards completion of the new line.”

Tell us what you think – have your say below or email opinion@railtechnologymagazine.com

Comments

Gavin Livie   15/08/2014 at 13:45

The slab track in the Bowshank tunnel is a RHEDA 2000 system, supplied by RAIL.ONE incorporating the Pandrol 'FCA' fastening system, which means the components are interchangeable with the G44 sleepers in ballast track for the first time.

Bantam Hen   15/08/2014 at 14:36

Railhead datum is barely a metre above the Gala Water when she's in spate here - so a great engineered solution to the P-way through Bowshank. Can't wait to thrash through there on a railtour!

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