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Assuring safety on the new Scottish railway line

On Wednesday 9 September, The Borders Railway was offically opened by Her Majesty The Queen on, the day that she also became Britain's longest serving monarch. NCB were contracted by the Borders Project to provide independent assessment services, as both a Notified Body (NoBo) and Designated Body (DeBo).

The Borders Railway Project began in 2012 and the work to carry it out had been classified as both Interoperable and Common Safety Methods on Risk Assessment (CSM-RA) significant. NCB were contracted by the Borders Project to provide independent assessment services, as both a Notified Body (NoBo) and Designated Body (DeBo), under Railway Interoperability Regulations and Assessment Body services under CSM-RA.

NCB were involved from an early stage, developing an assessment plan that led to full authorisation. Project and programme changes and inputs from the Office of Rail Regulation (ORR) meant that the plan had to be developed through a number of iterations. However, as a result of closely working alongside all parties, NCB successfully negotiated a significant change to the original plan. With the agreement of the ORR, it was decided that whilst all 122 structures were assessed at the ‘approval in principle stage’, there was no need to reassess all these structures at detailed design stage.

Instead, NCB had a ‘sampling list’, agreed and developed by all parties, taking examples of the varying types of structure only. This reduced the number of structures to be reassessed at detailed design stage, down to around 40. A much more efficient process that saved the project money and time. A revised plan that reflected the new timescales was also agreed.

There were some major milestones for the project including issuing an Intermediate Statement of Verification (ISV) for the elements comprising the Infrastructure Technical Specification for Interoperability (TSI), an Interim Safety Assessment Report and a further ISV for the Control, Command and Signalling TSI.

More information on the opening can be found on the BBC website.

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