Transport Scotland has transferred responsibility for construction of the £294M Borders Railway to Network Rail in an agreement that commits the rail infrasturcture operator to completing the 48km route and seven new stations by summer 2015.
Scottish government transport minister Keith Brown said: “The official handover of the Borders project to Network Rail marks a milestone in our efforts to provide a fast and efficient rail link that will significantly contribute to area’s economy.
“By funding this project via Network Rail, we are able to make savings of approximately £60M against the previous estimate for an NPD [non-profit-distributing] delivery model. This means, overall, the whole life costs of building, maintaining and operating the line over 30 years can be delivered under budget.”
He added that the Scottish government wants the new line to be up and running by the end of 2014, and will be working closely with Network Rail to achieve this. “I have asked for a further review of the programme in nine months from now once construction is well underway and we have had an opportunity to make a further assessment of the risks,” said Brown.
The Borders Railway will re-establish passenger railway services for the first time in over 40 years from Edinburgh through Midlothian to Tweedbank in the Scottish Borders. Bam Nuttall is already lined up as copntractor.