New railway line’s commendation

Borders Railway work on the A720 city bypass at sherrifhall roundabout in 2014
Borders Railway work on the A720 city bypass at sherrifhall roundabout in 2014

The recently completed Borders Railway line has received a commendation at this year’s Saltire Civil Engineering Awards.

Announced annually, the Saltire Civil Engineering Awards are a much coveted accolade from the Saltire Society and the Institution of Civil Engineers Scotland recognising excellence and innovation in civil engineering.

Speaking on behalf of Network Rail, Rob McIntosh, Regional Director said: “The Borders Railway is an outstanding engineering achievement; in a little over two years, the team has constructed the longest domestic railway to be built in Britain in the last 100 years and has connected Midlothian and the Scottish Borders to the railway network for the first time in 46 years. Just seven weeks on since opening, the railway has already begun to validate the forecasted socio-economic gains to be realised by re-connecting these regions with the capital.

“This new piece of infrastructure significantly enhances Scotland’s rail network, helping us truly deliver for our customers and I am delighted to see the project being recognised.”

The new Borders Railway line is the longest new domestic rail line to be built in the UK for over 100 years and includes seven new stations, 61 kilometres of track including three passing loops and capacity for further dualling and electrification. It follows 45 kilometres of the original route and five kilometres of new route and has required the regeneration of some 95 bridges along with two tunnels and the installation of 42 new structures.

Gordon Pomphrey, chairman of the assessors’ panel, concluded:“The Borders Railway demonstrated an exceptional commitment to collaboration, co-ordination and communication with its stakeholders to deliver the longest new domestic railway in Britain for more than a century. The social, economic and environmental benefits the completed project will bring to the area it serves will be of great significance.”

The Borders Railway was one of four projects commended by the panel. The overall winner was the redevelopment of Haymarket station in Edinburgh.