Today’s historic announcement of the Borders Railway contract signing by Transport Scotland and Network Rail also brought confirmation of the success of CBR’s campaign (together with the Waverley Route Trust) for Tweedbank station to be redesigned to accommodate tourist charter trains.
The Tweedbank terminus platform tracks will now be extended to 285m length, enabling commercially viable 12-coach charters to use the Borders Railway – and bringing in new visitor spend to attractions such as Sir Walter Scott’s Abbotsford, Melrose and the Borders abbeys.
Great credit should go to the Scottish Government for listening to CBR, which has argued long and hard for this. The Borders delegation to the Settle & Carlisle line in August – an inspired idea organised by Bill Jamieson and including Claudia Beamish MSP and regional tourism representatives – was crucial in firing up Claudia to press for a meeting with the Transport Minister, Keith Brown. He listened to CBR’s arguments, and has now accepted the merits of the case we have been making for more than a decade.
Congratulations all round, not least to Bill, who today steps down after 13 years continuous service as a CBR officebearer. What a way to go!