OVER 90,000 railway sleepers will help make up the new Borders Railway route once it becomes operational next September. The majority of sleepers, 80,000, are already on site with several miles already positioned at various locations along the route.

Sleeper distribution will be completed along the full 30 mile route ahead of the main rail installation phase that gets underway in October. The sleepers are laid upon the stone ballast and play a vital role in creating a structurally sound railway track. Sleepers also anchor the rails to a precise geometry that leads to a smooth rail journey. The installation of the sleepers involves a specifically designed machine to accurately space out each sleeper so that each is correctly aligned.

Hugh Wark, project director, Network Rail, said: “It’s great to see sleepers now being positioned along the route. What has been a construction site for the last 18 months is starting to look like a railway.

“With around a year to go until the line becomes fully operational, most of our work to prepare the track formation is now complete and we are now concentrating on the final phase of installation of all sleepers ahead of rail installation starting in October.”