Network Rail begins project to clear trees from key rail routes: tree felling-5

Friday 24 May 2024

Network Rail begins project to clear trees from key rail routes

Region & Route:
Scotland’s Railway: Scotland

Network Rail has started an extensive programme of tree and vegetation management works to clear 250km of the Edinburgh-Glasgow and Borders railway lines.

Ayrshire-based QTS has been awarded a contract for the delivery of the work which is part of the first phase of a wider programme of tree and vegetation management projects across Scotland’s Railway.

The contract, which covers the first year of the programme, will see trees and vegetation cleared up to six metres either side of the tracks on land within the railway boundary. Any noxious or invasive weeds – such as Japanese knotweed – will also be treated.

Once cleared, the railway will undergo routine annual maintenance to control vegetation growth.

Ahead of the work starting, ecological surveys were carried out to identify any nesting birds, protected species or sensitive habitat sites.

As the work is delivered, specialist ecologists will continue to monitor and safeguard protected species living within the railway.

Biodiversity enhancements will also be delivered where appropriate – including the installation of bat and bird boxes and habitat piles.

Train services will not be affected during work, which will take place over both day and night shifts.

Douglas Craig, Network Rail programme director, said: “We manage thousands of kilometres of trees and vegetation along the railway and programmes like this are essential to providing a safe and reliable service for our customers.

“Elements of this work can only be delivered at night for safety reasons and the teams are always mindful of the impact their work may have and will try to minimise any disruption for nearby residents.”

Notes to Editors

The first phase of work will be delivered between April 2024 and March 2025.

This will focus on the Edinburgh – Glasgow (via Falkirk High) line and the Edinburgh Waverley – Tweedbank line.

The first year of the programme will see more than 150 single track kilometres (STKs) of vegetation cleared on the main Edinburgh – Glasgow line and 100 STKs cleared on the Borders line.

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Network Rail press office - Nick King
Media relations manager (Scotland)
0141 555 4108 / 07515 617073

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