Tue Aug 31st, 2010 at 08:59:01 AM EST
STV Video News Item
It just about sums up the poverty of ambition in the UK that 24km of new (reinstated, actually) line is the biggest development in 100 years.
Airdrie and Bathgate line prepares for December opening | Rail-News.com
Network Rail completed track laying on the new 24km stretch of railway between Airdrie and Bathgate today (Friday 27 August), making it the longest domestic passenger railway with new stations to be built in Britain for a century.
A 200-tonne mobile track laying machine ran through the site of the relocated Drumgelloch station over the course of two hours, completing a modern, soon-to-be electrified rail link between West Lothian and North Lanarkshire. By December 2010, the line will carry four trains an hour in each direction, opening up travel options between Scotland's two biggest cities.
Promoted by DoDo
But it's coming in on time and in budget, I think, and it's a damn sight better than nothing.....
The £295m Borders Rail project to reopen the Waverley Line into the Borders from Edinburgh to Galashiels is more ambitious.
BBC News - Borders to Edinburgh rail link bidders selected
Three organisations have been selected to submit tenders for the multi-million pound rail link project between Edinburgh and the Borders.
The BAM, IMCD and New Borders Railway bids include a wide range of financial and construction companies.
Finance Secretary John Swinney said he was encouraged by the "strong UK and European interest" in the project.
The current target for completing the line between Edinburgh and Tweedbank in the Borders is 2014.
It is technically funded and some preparatory work has already been done, but with current budget restrictions I can see long delays at best, and a complete axe at worst.
The massive Lothianbridge viaduct will be put back to use.
The Waverley line used to run through to Carlisle via Hawick and is outstandingly beautiful.
The Shankend viaduct South of Hawick is magnificent.
Peebles and the Tweed Valley
There's another dismantled line from Edinburgh running South to Peebles and the possibility of then reopening the line to Galashiels down the Tweed Valley to form a loop.
This would be as beautiful a route as you will find anywhere in the world.
But it all needs a little work......
This bridge over the Tweed is at Innerleithen.
This tunnel was the Caledonian Railway Tunnel, Peebles - Site of the first ever cosmic ray experiment
Wilson's first experiments on controlled expansion of moist air revealed that a few ions per cubic cm are produced each second, in normal air at sea level. It follows immediately that air is a weak conductor of electricity, and he and others demonstrated this to be the case in 1900. What natural agent continually produces these ions?
Wilson's 1901 suggestion was boldly imaginative: "...radiation from outside our atmosphere, possibly radiation like Roentgen rays or like cathode rays, but of enormously greater penetrating power." To test this idea he took a portable form of electroscope into the tunnel of the Caledonian Railway near Peebles (shown here). Wisely he did this "at night, after the traffic had ceased." His thinking was that the thickness of earth above the tunnel would absorb this cosmic radiation, so that fewer ions would be produced and the air there would be a poorer conductor of electricity.
Finally, no Scottish rail blog is complete without a picture of IMHO the most beautiful viaduct anywhere. This was on the Berwickshire railway and crosses the Tweed at Leaderfoot where the river Leader joins it.
....and the last train over it in 1965.
Nostalgia isn't what it used to be!