THE £295m Edinburgh-Borders “Waverley” line will be completed within its latest timescale and budget, transport minister Keith Brown today pledged to MSPs.
The minister’s confidence in opening 30 miles of new track to Tweedbank, south of Galashiels, by the end of 2014, comes despite construction work having yet to start on the project, which should have got under way last autumn.
Network Rail has taken over the scheme after two of the three bidders pulled out and a novel method for the private sector to both build and run the line was scrapped by the Scottish Government last year.
However, the rail firm has yet to announce its agreement with the budget and timescale of the much-delayed project.
Mr Brown said: “We have said to Network Rail we want to see this completed by the end of 2014 and done on budget. That’s very much our intent.”
He said there was “substantial” work progressing along the line, such as vegetation clearance.