The UK’s rail infrastructure operator Network Rail has started works on the £353m track-laying project for the new 30-mile Borders Railway.
With this Scottish Government-funded project, passenger services will be re-established in Edinburgh to Tweedbank through Midlothian for the first time in 40 years.
Transport Minister Keith Brown said: "This project isn’t just about building a railway – it’s about restoring links for communities that will result in employment, study and social opportunities.
"The installation of the tracks sees that long-held aspiration for the Borders and Midlothian becoming a tangible reality."
About £294m will be assigned for construction of the line, and £60m will be used for land purchase, preparation work and delay costs.
Construction firm BAM will deploy rails onto 90,000 sleepers laid out along the route and link up already installed specialist sections of track at key locations.
Network Rail chief executive Mark Carne said: "By the end of this year, rails will connect seven stations along the route to the national railway network for the first time in forty-five years.
"When services start running next September, the railway will form a new economic artery for the region, providing opportunities for employment, education and tourism."
After placing the rails, the installation of signalling and communications equipment will start, along with the construction and outfitting of seven new stations at Shawfair, Eskbank, Newtongrange, Gorebridge, Stow, Galashiels and Tweedbank.
Construction work is expected to be completed in mid-2015, and the line will enter into service in September 2015.
Image: The rail installation machine is capable of laying over 1km of track per day. Photo: courtesy of Borders Railway Project.