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Borders rail link options 'being looked at'

The Scottish Government has said it is considering its options over a project to create a rail link to the Borders after a consortium said it intended to withdraw from bidding for the contract to build it.

Construction giant Carillion confirmed it would not be running in the contest to be the company responsible for building and maintaining the route, estimated to cost between £235M and £295M.

The company was part of a consortium called IMCD bidding for the contract with partners Sir Robert McAlpine and Spanish firm Iridium Concesiones de Infrastructuras.

Government agency Transport Scotland said it was waiting for confirmation from the remaining consortium partners over whether they would also withdraw their intentions to bid.

A spokeswoman said: “The Scottish Government is committed to the Borders Railway project.

“We still await formal confirmation, however through discussions with IMCD it is clear they now intend to pull out of bidding as a consortium.

“Our requirements have always been clear and we carried out extensive consultation with the industry before embarking on the procurement process.”

The railway link, due to open in 2014, will re-establish passenger railway services on a 48km stretch from Edinburgh through Midlothian to Tweedbank for the first time since 1969.

The former transport minister Stewart Stevenson cut the first sod on the route in March 2010, activating the Waverley Railway Act which commits the government to finishing the project.

Another consortium, New Borders Railway, pulled out in November last year after the loss of one of their key members - American firm Fluor.

Construction company Bam is the other remaining bidder out of three organisations invited to tender for the contract by the government.

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