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Berwickshire Railway half year accounts 1873 | by ian.dinmore
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Berwickshire Railway half year accounts 1873

The Berwickshire Railway Company (BRC) was formed with the purpose of extending the North British Railway line a further 21 miles to meet the Hawick to Edinburgh (NBR) line at Ravenswood Junction just north of St. Boswells and involving crossing the River Tweed at Leaderfoot.

At this point work was underway to extend the NBR line to Carlisle, a route subsequently to be known as 'The Waverly Line' which would mean not only that the journey to Carlisle from Duns would be cut by 31 miles but also that here would be a direct route to the north west of England.

The new Company had an authorised share capital of £100,000 half of which was to be raised by local subscribers and the other half by the issue of preference shares to shareholders. The Berwickshire Railway Act was passed in 1862.

Among the provisions of this Act was a stipulation that although the Railway was to be single track nonetheless enough land was to be bought for the provision of a second track in due course.

The line would be worked and maintained for the first six months by and at the cost of BRC but thereafter the line would be operated by NBR for a period of ten years renewable by agreement.

Initially it was provided that BRC should have five directors two to be appointed by NBR and the remaining three by BRC these to be Sir Hugh Hume Campbell, Bart of Marchmont, George Cranstoun Trotter Cranstoun of Dewar and James Dalrymple of Langlea. The two NBR appointments were for life not subject to rotation or re-election.

The ceremony of turning the fist sod took place at Greenlaw, then the County Town of Berwickshire on 14th. October 1862. Just over a year later construction had reached Earlston with stations having been built at Marchmont, Greenlaw, Gordon and Earlston.

Now however a major obstacle faced the engineers namely the crossing of the River Tweed at Leaderfoot a crossing which involved the building of a nineteen arch masonary viaduct 907 feet long and 126 feet above the level of the River. The work was carried out by Engineers Charles Jopp and Messrs Wyllie and Peddie and is universally regarded as a magnificent feat of engineering. This viaduct survives and is now a public walkway having been extensively restored by Historic Scotland between 1992 and 1995. The building of this viaduct delayed the completion of the line by almost two years but it was eventually completed on 2nd October 1865.

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Uploaded on October 11, 2014