SCOTLAND'S PARLIAMENT last week unanimously approved a bill to enable construction of the £37M Stirling-Alloa-Kincardine railway project.
The 21km line is the first new publicly funded railway line to be built in Britain for decades.
Design work has already begun. A joint venture between First Engineering and Edmund Nuttall has the early contractor involvement contract for the first design assessment phase of the project. This will determine the final construction cost estimates.
'But the full construction contract will only be awarded when monies for the project have come through, ' said a spokeswomen for consultant Babtie.
The consultant has been guiding the scheme through the parliamentary process for a project steering group led by Clackmannanshire Council.
There are legal formalities to complete and Royal Assent is needed before the project's enabling legislation becomes law. This is expected next month.
First ground is likely to be broken in early September.
The new line will carry coal freight for power stations and commuter services linked to the Scottish Rail network.
Work will revitalise an existing track corridor which has lain derelict since 1983.
The old line must be ripped out and bridges and other structures renovated and upgraded (NCE 4 December 2003).