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Mainline safeguards for rail doubling

Published 19 April 2016 by Colin Howden

Transform Scotland’s rail campaigner Paul Tetlaw writes:

We have serious concerns about the new road bridges south of Gorebridge on the Borders railway that have all been constructed to single track width.

We raised these concerns with Transport Scotland and expressed similar concerns that we have for the impact on the HML and A2I rail routes as a result of the work going forward to dual the A9 and A96 roads.

I subsequently attended a meeting with Anne Armstrong from Transport Scotland and Graeme Stewart of Network Rail on 25 February 2016. They took me through the work currently planned for the A2I rail route. They assured me that any work done on dualling of the A96 road would – where it impacts on the rail route – ensure that passive provision is allowed for future double tracking and electrification of the line. I was given the same assurance for the A9 and HML. I subsequently confirmed this in writing with them.

It seems to me that the difference between these routes and the Borders Railway is that these are existing rail routes and NR can insist that the road builders construct double track bridges. In contrast the Borders Railway was rebuilt and specified by Transport Scotland – hence the single track bridges.