UK: Network Rail announced the award of a £220m contract for detailed design and construction of the Borders Railway to BAM Nuttall on December 13. Construction is scheduled to get underway in early 2013, for commissioning 'by the summer of 2015'. The capital cost is put at £294m.

Work to reinstate the long-closed 56 km route linking Edinburgh with Tweedbank includes seven new stations at Shawfair, Eskbank, Newtongrange, Gorebridge, Stow, Galashiels and Tweedbank.

The Scottish Government had planned to develop the scheme through a 30-year design, build, finance and maintain concession, but this was dropped in 2011 after the second of three prequalified bidders dropped out. NR is now delivering the project on behalf of the Scottish Government.

'BAM Nuttall has already been working closely with Network Rail in drawing up initial designs for the new line and can now carry that momentum into the delivery of the main construction phase as we work to complete the new line for the start of services in 2015', said David Simpson, NR's Route Managing Director for Scotland.

'This scheme brings together the engineering strengths of the BAM Group and will create significant local employment opportunities', said Stephen Fox, Chief Executive of BAM Nuttall. The contractor is to host a 'meet the buyers' event to engage with local suppliers before works commence.