Monday 20 Jun 2005


Region & Route:
Scotland’s Railway: Scotland
The final touch was made today to Portrack bridge in Dumfriesshire when a plaque was unveiled by the architect who helped design the stunning red bridge. Charles Jencks unveiled a plaque to mark the £14 million project being presented with the Saltire Society award for civil engineering. Ron McAulay, Network Rail Route Director for Scotland, said: “The volatile River Nith has presented engineers with a problem for more than 150 years.  The success of the Portrack project is evidence of a team combining engineering excellence and great design.” The specialist team – project managers Network Rail, designers Scott Wilson Scotland and contractors Carillion – came up with a solution to replace the ageing rail crossing. They realigned the railway and constructed two bridges across the river with help from the world’s largest mobile crane.  And local landowner and renowned architect Mr Jencks, who has won critical acclaim for his nearby Garden of Cosmic Speculation, agreed to become the project’s architectural consultant. John Carruthers of the Saltire Society said: “What impressed the adjudicators was the originality and the boldness of the design. The bright red colour is something many engineers would have shied away from, but it sits well in its rural surroundings and it certainly impressed us. “There was also a lot of consultation with local people  to make sure what was created suited the environment. This was a good design which caused minimal disruption to the railway line.”

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