The Borders Railway has commended as “an outstanding engineering achievement” at the 2015 Saltire Civil Engineering Awards, a coveted accolade from the Saltire Society and the Institution of Civil Engineers Scotland recognising excellence and innovation in civil engineering.
Alongside the Borders Railway, three other projects received commendations, namely the Ullapool Harbour Improvements, the redevelopment of Hampden Park for the Glasgow 2014 Commonwealth Games and a flood alleviation scheme in Inverness. The Awards were presented at a gala event in the National Museum of Scotland on Wednesday, October 28.
The 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, 61km of track including three passing loops and the capacity for further dualling and electrification. It follows 45km of the original route and 5km of new route and has required the regeneration of some 95 bridges along with two tunnels and the installation of 42 new structures.
Derek Mackay, Minister for Transport and the Islands said: “The Scottish Government has invested over £15 billion in transport since 2007, including seventy-six kilometres of new railways delivered with thirteen new train stations opened. All these major projects have been proudly designed and delivered by innovative and creative engineers following in the footsteps of the likes of Sir John Fowler and Benjamin Baker who designed the Forth Rail Bridge, now recognised as Scotland’s sixth World Heritage Site and proof of Scotland’s engineering pedigree and ingenuity.”
Speaking on behalf of Network Rail, Rob McIntosh, regional director, added: “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 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.”