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Welcoming the Borders Railway

A successful railway will maximise its benefit to the regional economy

CBR wholeheartedly welcomes the arrival of the Borders Railway – although some important infrastructure and service upgrades are required if the railway is to fulfil its true potential (see box to the right).

The new ScotRail train service operates on a half-hourly frequency for most of the day, calling at nine stations in Edinburgh, Midlothian and the Borders. In the evening and on Sundays there is an hourly service. Stow, the smallest community en route, has 'only' 23 trains a day to Edinburgh! Thanks to pressure by CBR, tourist charter trains (including steam specials) will also operate by arrangement over the Borders Railway.

One of our key aims now is to secure the success of the new railway, thereby helping maximise its benefit to the regional economy. Our related immediate ambitions for the new line include:

  • integrated bus/rail links to neighbouring towns
  • through bus and train tickets
  • The Borders Railway Community Partnership, delivering:
    • station improvements
    • marketing focussed on ScotRail’s Great Scenic Railways of Scotland initiative
    • a celebration of Waverley Route heritage
    • benefits for local businesses and producers
    • promotion of walking and cycling links
    • education and schools outreach.

The Borders Railway Community Partnership – separate from CBR, but on which we are keen to serve – will bring together various stakeholder organisations from the public, private and voluntary sectors, working to maximise the economic, environmental and social benefits of the new railway. For more information about community rail partnerships, click here.

Hawick is the town which suffered the most – economically and socially – from the 1969 loss of the Edinburgh-Carlisle 'Waverley Route' through the Borders, the worst of the notorious Beeching cuts. Longtown, Melrose, Newcastleton and Newtown St Boswells also lost their train services – so CBR’s work is not done. Read more about our campaign for extension south to Hawick and Carlisle – and associated provision for rail freight facilities in the Central Borders and southern Borders – here.

Key infrastructure and service upgrades for the future:
  • improve timekeeping and reliability by extending the current 9½ miles length of double track on the Borders Railway
  • increase capacity over the congested tracks between Waverley Station and the start of the Borders Railway proper at Newcraighall
  • cut all end-to-end journey times to a maximum of 55 minutes.

For a detailed explanatory map, click here).