Following the shining example set by WRHA, Network Rail has been busy laying track on the reborn Waverley Route. The current project at the north end of the Millerhill complex has seen the construction of a short length of new formation, complete with ballast, drainage and now steel- sleepered track. In due course this will tie into the existing Newcraighall turn- back siding, and at its far end will presumably form an end- on boundary with the new Borders Railway proper.
This is of course a new alignment for the railway: the original route left via the south end of Millerhill yards through what eventually became the east coast electrification depot, lately ending at a set of buffers adjacent to the city by-pass. It is the heavily skewed angle at which the by-pass bisects the old formation that has dictated the new route, which sees the railway loop behind the old Millerhill Down yard and Monktonhall colliery site to a new station at Shawfair. The line will then hit the by-pass at something closer to ninety degrees before rejoining the old formation near what is now the A68/ A7 (Sherifhall) roundabout.
Other recent works include repointing/ structural repairs to the Lothianbridge Viaduct, further de-vegetation of the route and ongoing scour protection on the Gala Water bridges. Local authority approval has also been granted for the new road layout at Falahill, which will see an overbridge built at ninety degrees to the line, connecting into the existing carriageway by means of a roundabout on each side. Apparently this had a rough ride with the locals, who presumably don’t welcome an additional obstacle on an otherwise fast stretch of road. Ho hum.
All photos copyright WRHA/ CBR and supplied by our intrepid newshound, Geoff Ruderham (also available for weddings etc.)