Press Release – Sunday 6 September 2020

The Borders Railway Five Years On

Campaign for Borders Rail comes to terms with the pandemic with a fifth anniversary celebration, and helps produce a four DVD souvenir box set charting the first five years and looking forward to the chapters yet unwritten. The DVD is officially released on 9 September, five years to the day since Her Majesty The Queen was observed by the world’s media, opening the line at Tweedbank. 

Five years success and more success to come. That is the message from the Campaign for Borders Rail, the group that successfully lobbied for the opening of the Borders Railway, between Edinburgh, Midlothian, and Tweedbank in the Scottish Borders. The Campaign continues to argue the case for extension of the line, onwards through Hawick to Carlisle. 
In celebration of the first five years and in support of the growing calls for extension, the Campaign has collaborated in producing a far-reaching documentary, that involves all the main players in the existing project, and the decision makers who will sign off on a completely restored mainline through the Borderlands.

Simon Walton quote: Chair of the Campaign for Borders Rail, Simon Walton, said the DVD souvenir set was a worthy alternative to a public event. “We would love to be recreating the fantastic scenes at Tweedbank, when The Queen opened the line and brought opportunity back to the Borders,” he said. “Under the current circumstances we cannot of course do that, but we have brought together representatives from every viewpoint, to tell the story of the existing Borders Railway, and make the case for extension, through Hawick to Carlisle.

Simon Walton quote: “Stuart Cameron has been itching to do a really definitive very much up to date look at the Borders Railway, completed only days before the anniversary,” said Simon Walton. “These circumstances have presented the perfect opportunity. Our Borders Railway Five Years On DVD set is a real lasting souvenir, and something that involves everybody who cares for the railway, the Borders, and the community at large.”

The four DVD box set features a brand new professionally produced documentary, and a never-before-seen real-time drivers’ eye view of a complete run from Tweedbank to Edinburgh Waverley. It also re-visits producer Stuart Cameron’s in-depth telling of the construction story of the Borders Railway, from start to finish. The documentary, with many interviews conducted by Chair of the Campaign for Borders Rail, Simon Walton, looks at what has been achieved so far, the lessons learned, and where the future will take the ambitions of the Borderlands and the Campaign for Borders Rail. 

Documentary contributors include the Campaign’s new patron, TV presenter and engineer Rob Bell, Managing Director of Scotland’s Railway Alex Hynes, Scotland’s Cabinet Secretary for Transport, Infrastructure and Connectivity Michael Matheson MSP, Champion of the Borderlands Growth Initiative John Stevenson MP, national, devolved and local government representatives, historians, engineers; and the driver of the very first public train to use the Borders Railway, now rail driving instructor Stuart Farrell from Selkirk.

Rob Bell quote: In the documentary, the Patron of the Campaign, TV presenter and engineer Rob Bell, looks forward to the benefits for future generations. “There’s a real sense of pride in the Borders about their region, a real urge to be active and to do things well, and although times can be challenging, I sense there is a real optimism for the future, that you can’t help but be swept along by.”

The never-before-seen opportunity to ride up front from Tweedbank to Edinburgh Waverley is a treat for rail enthusiasts, and a real-time experience to share with family and friends. 

Simon Walton says the cab ride is a unique way to enjoy the Borders Railway, from anywhere in the world. “The real-time ride has never been seen before, but it is a fantastic way to enjoy not just the Borders Railway, but it is a wonderful showcase for the Borders. You can put that on and just relive the run whether you’re in Abbotsford or Australia. Better still, you can now share the experience with anyone, near and far. I think this is the best thing about the DVD set – it’s an opportunity to take the railway, the Borders, and the Campaign onto a truly international stage.

“It is my firm belief that while the temporary terminus at Tweedbank is as far as the line currently reaches, that will soon change and we will be on our way to Hawick and Carlisle. This DVD set is a unique document of both achievement and ambition and a worthy commemoration of the fifth anniversary of the Borders Railway.” 

Notes for editors:
The Borders Railway Five Years On is a four DVD box set, available now from, and from selected retail outlets. The set can be ordered online or by mail at £32.99 including postage and packing. Campaign members’ price is £27.99.

The Campaign for Borders Rail is a long-established pressure group promoting the benefits of modern train services for communities across the Borderlands. Our grassroots campaign saw the rail link from Edinburgh to the Scottish Borders reopened. Now we’re lobbying to extend the popular Borders Railway onward to Hawick and Carlisle. Visit the Campaign website for further details.

Images (and credits) follow this Dropbox link

Cover artwork for DVD Box Set (StuMedia); Rob Bell, Patron of the Campaign for Borders Rail (Rob Bell) – seated; Simon Walton, Chair of the Campaign for Borders Rail (Simon Walton); Three images of the royal opening variously with Her Majesty The Queen, Prince Philip The Duke of Edinburgh, Nicola Sturgeon First Minister of Scotland (Alwyn Johnston).

Moving images:Please contact producer Stuart Cameron at StuMedia to discuss any requirements for representative video images (phone 07977 986849). 

For further comment or information, contact Simon Walton on 07540 313018