Onwards to Hawick and Carlisle

The Proposal

Our vision is for a new railway line linking the Tweedbank terminus of the existing Borders Railway to the West Coast Main Line near Carlisle. For much of its length the new line would reuse the disused alignment of the old Waverley Route. The completed railway would allow through trains between Edinburgh and Carlisle, serving intermediate settlements including Hawick. Those not directly served would benefit from access by connecting bus services and Park & Ride stations. The proposals will build on the success of the Borders Railway, the new 35-mile rail link connecting Edinburgh, Midlothian, Galashiels and Tweedbank which opened in 2015. It’s now time to spread the social, economic and environmental benefits of rail-led regeneration to more communities across the region.

Page image: Shankend Viaduct, courtesy of Borders Aerial Photography.

The Business Case

Official studies have shown that the Borders needs better links to the south to maximise its economic potential as well as to reverse years of decline in isolated communities such as Hawick. The extension of the Borders Railway to Hawick and Carlisle is the most effective proposal to adequately address these problems. It will provide a gateway to the region from the economic powerhouse of North West England and strengthen links to Edinburgh. And with climate action now urgent, regional rail expansion is vital to delivering a more sustainable future.

Download Summary Case (PDF)

Timescale to Delivery

We are working to secure a full and fit-for-purpose feasibility study on the shortest possible timescale. Our aim is to promote partnership working between the UK Government, the Scottish Government and key agencies on both sides of the border to fund the feasibility work and deliver the project. You can read more about the project in the PDF below.

Download Timescale Article (PDF)

Investing for the Future

There remains a significant deficit of transport provision in the Borderlands compared to other similar regions. Investment in a through rail route will help build a fairer and more sustainable future for the area, unlocking suppressed economic development and helping to re-balance the economy. You can read more about the plans for investment in the PDF below.

Download Strategy Article (PDF)