Borders line opens

Borders Railway at Sheriffhall
Sunday 6 September saw services formally restored to Tweedbank
Published Mon, 2015-09-07 10:52

Sunday 6 September saw the opening to normal passenger services of the line through to Tweedbank following two days of special services.




Borders Railway at Sheriffhall © M J Richardson - Creative Commons

The opening, the culmination of a £300 million project to reverse the Beeching era closure, sees trains restored to the northern half of the Waverley route.
Until the restoration of the link, communities such as Hawick and Galashiels were the most distant towns from the railway network; that dubious distinction now belongs to Fraserburgh and Peterhead, on the coast north of Aberdeen.
The new service, operated by Abellio ScotRail, sees a half-hourly frequency of service on weekdays with an hourly service on Sundays with a single trip taking about 55 minutes.
Concerns, however, have been expressed about the line’s capacity should traffic be greater than that anticipated, with some of the replacement structures being built simply to accommodate a single track.
The line will be formally opened by HM Queen Elizabeth II on Wednesday 9 September – coincidentally the day that she also becomes the longest reigning monarch in Britain (taking the mantle from Queen Victoria) – who will be travelling behind No 60009 Union of South Africa for the event. In case of problems, sister locomotive No 60007 Sir Nigel Gresley has travelled from the North Yorkshire Moors Railway to act as stand-by.