This from Scottish Borders Council on 27/1/12:
De-vegetation work – new phase
Although legal and commercial agreements between Network Rail and Transport Scotland are still to be finalised, Network Rail’s contractor QTS will shortly resume outstanding de-vegetation work along the route. This includes the cycle paths at Eskbank, Galashiels and Tweedbank. Notification procedures for temporary path closures (if required) will be followed. Work will take place around the centreline of the future railway and de-vegetation undertaken on either side sufficient for construction and future operation. This work is due to be complete by the end of March to minimise the impact on wildlife. Planting will be provided once the railway is complete in accordance with project commitments.
Site clearance – Galashiels
Demolition of vacated buildings is due to start in February on the line of route at Langhaugh, Galashiels. Whilst many buildings here are relatively modern, the older stone buildings have been recorded as part of the archaeological survey. The whinstone facing material on these buildings is a distinctive, local feature. SBC, with the contractor, are making arrangements to salvage the stone for re-use on council maintenance schemes where matching local stone is often needed, and for other projects. The contractor will abide by the Project’s Code of Construction Practice in respect of working hours, practices and environmental protection and will be on site for up to 13 weeks, with main demolition taking around 4 weeks.
Archaeology and private water supplies – nearly complete
The project was required to investigate sites that could be of archaeological interest. No items of archaeological interest have been identified to date. The Project will complete a report that summarises the work and records items of historic interest such as older buildings to be removed for the railway works. Private water supply investigation works are complete apart from two sites.
Advance utility diversions – nearly complete
The diversions in the programme at Avenue Road in Dalkeith and at Stow Sewage Treatment Works are now complete. Two remaining sites to be tackled are at Gorebridge and Jenks Loan, Newtongrange.
Fencing of the line – not yet started
Our previous update referred to this work. Locations for the first permanent line-side fencing have been identified. Start on site is expected February/March. As with all UK railways, the entire railway will be fenced.
The removal of so many trees turns the clock back to how the line must have looked following track lifting in the 70s, and in the case of Fountainhall exposes the full extent of the straight once more, with the occupation bridge at the north end. Half close your eyes, add a little imagination and you can just see “Pinza” on the Down line straddling the crossing……..
Photos as always copyright Geoff Ruderham/ WRHA