NEWS BLOG

Press Release – Friday 10 July 2020


Rob Bell ‘Walking Britain’s Lost Railways’ named Patron of Campaign for Borders Rail


The Campaign for Borders Rail is delighted to announce that television presenter, engineer and adventurer, Rob Bell is to be the lobby group’s first appointed patron. Rob is one of the best known faces on British and international television, for his many series of enthusiastic explorations of natural wonders and engineering marvels all over the world. His patronage brings that enthusiasm to the Campaign, and brings the Campaign to a whole new audience.


Rob captured the hearts of the Borders with his presentation of the recent Channel Five series Walking Britain’s Lost Railways. The finale, and most watched edition, featured the Borders Railway and the former Waverley Route, and brought the case for extending the line to a new audience of almost two million viewers. Rob travelled the Borders Railway from Edinburgh to Tweedbank and then embarked on the trek from there, all the way to Carlisle, exploring the heritage of the region and meeting Borderers all along the way.


Rob Bell:  “I was really taken but the passion and enthusiasm of the people,” said Rob. “The culture and heritage of the region is unique, and the people have real pride in their communities. There’s a sense of identity coupled with a healthy rivalry between communities. The region deserves every opportunity to bring that pride of place to as many people as possible, and the Campaign for Borders Rail is a project that can make that happen.
Rob Bell:  “It seems to me that the Borders craves this missing part of its heritage; the railway that connected all those communities together and contributed to unifying the Borders more than anything else for over a century. I’m honoured to be a patron of the Campaign for Borders Rail and look forward to playing my part in achieving that goal of reconnection.”
Rob was introduced to the Campaign by Fintan McGuire, the Head of Popular Factual at Rumpus Media, who made the TV series ‘Walking Britain’s Lost Railways’. Fintan said: “We’ve of course had a lot of interest generated by Walking Britain’s Lost Railways, but Simon’s approach on behalf of the Campaign for Borders Rail was quite unique. 


Fintan McGuire:  “I knew Simon and Rob had got along very well on the shoot for the show, and Rob and the crew had said how much they enjoyed the visit. When Simon approached me, I was more than happy to help shake hands on the deal. This episode as much as any epitomised all that excites us about the series. It is a great engineering feat, built though some outstanding landscapes, connecting communities and was a pleasure to film.”


Simon Walton:  “The Campaign has worked hard to take the message of the Borders Railway and the Borders to a national audience, and prove that the new Waverley Route will be an asset to the community, the region and the nation. Having Rob Bell on board as our patron takes that up a level, and gives the Campaign an ambassador that will help introduce a whole new audience to the ambitions we share, to make the Borders everything it can be, by building a new railway and making the Borders a better place for generations to come.”

For further comment, contact Simon Walton on 07540 313018

Include Borders Railway in Big Build

PRESS RELEASE – Monday, 29 June 2020

Include Borders Railway in Big Build


The Campaign for Borders Rail is calling on the UK Government to include extension of the Borders Railway, as a crucial project within their ‘Big Build’ economic revival programme, and to complete the line between Edinburgh, the Borders, and Carlisle.


An announcement is expected on Tuesday (30 June) of a significant programme of infrastructure investment across the UK. The Campaign for Borders Rail says that within the context of economic recovery, the completion of the former Waverley Route, through Hawick to Carlisle, provides a ready-made project to stimulate local, regional and national growth. They say that the so-called ‘Big Build’ must also consider the Borders Railway.


Simon Walton, chair of the Campaign, said that extending the Borders Railway between Tweedbank and Carlisle, has the backing of community, commerce, administrations, and industry at large throughout the UK.
“If the UK Government is to introduce a programme of infrastructure investment, which is to underpin the recovery of the UK economy, then the re-establishment of this cross-border rail link absolutely fits the bill. The Campaign for Borders Rail has consistently made the case that a new, fit for purpose, Borders Railway will promote economic regeneration, social inclusion, and environmental sustainability. Add to that the fact that a new Borders Railway will benefit not just the national network now, by providing much needed capacity, but will also economically benefit many generations to come. This can be a legacy project that demonstrates a commitment to long-term recovery and faith in the future.”
The Campaign calls on Governments on both sides of the England-Scotland border to co-operate on making a new Borders Railway a reality. Their submission comes on the heels of a report from the widely-representative High Speed Rail Group, which specifically cited completing the Borders Railway as a crucial development for the national rail network and to help take full advantage of the HS2 project (see the HSRG document “High Speed Rail and Scotland”).


Simon Walton added that devolved transport powers should be an opportunity, not an obstacle to progress. “Both Westminster and Holyrood Governments have already demonstrated that the economic regeneration of the Borderlands is a priority,” he said. “The Campaign already works at a cross-party, cross-border and cross-administration levels to encourage railway development as a tangible and achievable way of making the common goals of opportunity, inclusion and sustainability a reality.”


ENDS


For further comment, contact Simon Walton on 07540 313018
Read the Campaign’s “Summary Case for a new cross-border rail link” here.
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. 

Press Release -11 June 2020



Campaign for Borders Rail vindicated by report to National Infrastructure Commission

A report, “High Speed Rail and Scotland”  prepared for submission to the National Infrastructure Commission by the High Speed Rail Group, recommends the completion of the Borders Railway on the grounds of economic regeneration, social inclusion, and strategic deployment of network capacity made possible by the construction of HS2.

The Campaign for Borders Rail says these are all the criteria upon which its own case is built, and the report represents an independent and credible confirmation of its demands for completion of the existing line from Tweedbank through Hawick to Carlisle.

Simon Walton, chair of the Campaign for Borders Rail, said the report reflects the significant shift in attitude towards rail development as a means of economic regeneration. “The findings of the High Speed Rail Group, which represents a very broad church of informed industry opinion, takes a very relevant look at demand for rail services in the light of the post-coronavirus demand, environmental imperatives, and shift towards rail transport. The strategic importance of an extended Borders Railway, as an asset for the entire network, has been recognised at its true value in this report.

The Campaign has always argued that a new cross-border rail link will be of benefit far beyond the Borders. Building the railway will not just be a tremendous fillip for the communities it directly serves, it will be an asset that helps solve challenges of capacity and reliability all over the network.

“The report says Borders Railway completion should be undertaken to “support new regional services and enhance connectivity.”

The Campaign for Borders Rail agrees, and says the full potential of the line has yet to be realised. Simon Walton added: “As a very popular commuter service in Midlothian and a regional service in the central Borders, the line has proved its worth since opening in 2015. With over four million passengers already having used the service, despite considerable capacity constraints, the case for extension could not be clearer.

It is already apparent that extension has widespread support in the community, commerce and all levels of government. We therefore urge no further delay in commissioning the project.

“The Campaign notes, as does the report, that funding is in place for a comprehensive feasibility study, and strongly encourages co-operation between government agencies on both side of the Border to progress this formal step with urgency.

“With so many green lights in front of us,” said Simon Walton, “immediate progress is the obvious course of action.”     

Big opportunity on the small screen

This article has been published as a supplementary feature in conjunction with Campaign for Borders Rail’s Newsletter 62. To receive the full newsletter, please subscribe to become a member of the Campaign – details at https://campaignforbordersrail.org/support/

Back in the days before shaking hands became life-threateningly foolhardy, Simon Walton met Rob Bell, for a special edition of Britain’s Lost Railways. TV’s Mr Enthusiastic may be the persona he plays up, but proper professional broadcaster is what’s going on behind that boyish, ever-present smile, says the Campaign chair.

It’s no coincidence that several locations from the Borders feature in the opening titles for the whole series. Sweeping landscapes; aerial footage of Melrose; the restored Hassendean station, and even a still from Stobs in the production company publicity. Is it any wonder that the Channel Five schedulers saved the best until last.

Yet, holding my own when it came to toothy grins, I merrily sent Rob on his way, to walk the remaining sixty-odd miles of the line. Clever editing kept the two production Range Rovers out of shot, apparently.

Novel Competition

Before getting on my own way, I just had time to enter that Channel Five competition, the one they’ve been running to promote the Borders in every ad-break over the entire six-part series. A luxury visit to Edinburgh and the Borders, including a trip on the Borders Railway and a private dining opportunity at Abbotsford. All that’s missing from that is for Walter Scott himself to pour the tea.

What’s engaged me most about the series, is that it’s not just about railways. Far from it, and I think the Borders edition played that hand most effectively. There is just so much with which to engage, and I didn’t envy the producers in making their choices. There were bound to be some left out on the cutting room floor. Sadly, no room for rugby, reivers nor common ridings, but step forward so much more besides. Walter Scott, Stobs Camp, Tweed river, and tweed cloth, all made the final cut, and so much more besides. Yet, tying it all together, that steel thread of the Waverley Route, the lost railway in question.

Showcase the Borders

For a whole new audience, the very essence of what the Campaign strives to achieve was brought out in a whole new context. How many times did ‘railway’ make it into the script? It’s into triple figures. Yet, cut the overtly trackside elements from the show, and you’d still have a lengthy diorama of the Borders.

Rumpus Media, who made the programme, have done as much to showcase the Borders on the back of this Channel Five series as we have ourselves.  Anticipation from you, our members, and supporters all over the world, has made this far and away our most popular discussion points of the year. More than 10,000 visitors to our social media channels, and still counting.

Lost no more

Rob Bell made a really telling pay-off, when he did his closing piece to camera, down at Carlisle Citadel station. His remarks were not prompted by the Campaign, but I think that, having seen first hand the passion for the line, and the passion for Borders life, that he was in no doubt that what we’ve started we must finish. Like the man himself, as I waved Rob on his way from Tweedbank, it’s onward to Hawick and Carlisle.

You can still catch the show, online at My5, the Channel Five catch-up service. It’s there for the next three years at least. Now, who’s to say that by then, Rob’s words won’t have come true, and the Waverley Route will be a lost railway no more.

Endnote: Nostalgia while looking to the future

Campaign chair Simon Walton thanked everyone involved in our recent national television exposure, Britain’s Lost Railways on Channel Five in the UK. He says while looking back, everyone was looking forward too. “There is a vast legacy of pride in the Borders, and that pride is epitomised in the Waverley Route and all it stands for.” 

Presenter Rob Bell met real Borders ambassadors every step of the way, from Edinburgh to Carlisle. “The producers took a real interest,” said Simon. “Campaigners played a real part in making the programme the best viewed of the series.” The producers said how much everyone on the team appreciated the generous support of everyone they’d met. 

Simon was however critical of statutory bodies, who hadn’t taken advantage of the same opportunity. “I would have hoped for more from those employed to promote the very best of Scotland, and the very best of the Borders. A free hour of dedicated national television does not come around very often,” he said. 

Campaign for Borders Rail Press Release – 2 June 2020

“Campaign more important now than ever”

  • “Building the new cross-border rail rink is the most important post-coronavirus project we can undertake to redefine ourselves” Simon Walton, chair, Campaign for Borders Rail
  • Campaign for Borders Rail has made a radical restatement of policy, and pledges more to commerce and the community on both sides of the Border. 
  • Addressing the membership through the latest newsletter – published today – the Campaign restated its case for extending the Borders Railway through Hawick to Carlisle. 

Expanding on its aims to serve the community and facilitate economic regeneration, beginning with the establishment of a through, cross-border rail link, the Campaign for Borders Rail says that the need for investment in the community is even greater in the light of the coronavirus crisis. 

In a leader column for the newsletter, Nick Bethune, Campaign secretary, said that the need for investment represented by the new rail link had only increased in the past few months. “Despite the trend for increased home working given impetus by the crisis, it’s clear that the capacity and coverage of the rail network will need to expand in future,” he said. “Changes in strategic priorities are needed to address the climate emergency and inclusivity goals. The ‘new normal’ may be very different but the vital need to extend the Borders Railway remains.”

Simon Walton, Campaign chair, said building the line is now more important than ever. His written address to the membership, reproduced below, is an affirmation of Campaign policy, and a positive response to the coronavirus crisis. “Governments on both sides of the Border, and elected representatives from all political persuasions, are united in the understanding that economic development is vital if there is to be a meaningful recovery. Infrastructure, which demonstrably supports both commerce and community is the best way to invest in that recovery,” he said. 

“The evidence of the success of the existing Borders Railway, and other rail-based projects nation-wide, gives precedent to the business case made by the Campaign,” added Simon Walton. “It is our commitment to the members of the Campaign, who have already demonstrated their support for the community at large, to push for that consensus to be turned into commitment and move as rapidly as possible through the stages of development and construction to completion and operation.”

Extract from Campaign for Borders Rail Newsletter #62 (June 2020).

View from the Chair

Building the line is now more important than ever, says Simon Walton.

We are facing a worldwide crisis that transcends any of our own ambitions. Our lives and livelihoods are in turmoil. There are stresses and anxieties most of us will never have faced before. We are tied down, in a cycle of isolation and immobility. 

But not forever. Of this, we must not lose sight. 

I have been receiving reports of sacrifices made by members, working hard in their communities, and helping make life better for family, friends, neighbours and strangers who need support. Once again, I am proud to be part of the Campaign, and count myself among your number. People who support the Campaign are the sort of people who understand the value of community, and are prepared to take that extra step, for the benefit of others. 

When this crisis in our lives has past – and it will pass – we will have experienced the very best that our community has to offer. Our nation – however you define nation – will have pulled together, in ways we may not have thought possible. We have demonstrated how important it is to pool our resources, and value what we have to offer, wherever we are. 

For these reasons, I say that our Campaign is more important than ever.

Bringing communities together, making it more possible to communicate with each other, will be even more important. Better connecting the Borders to each other, and to those communities around us, will be recognised for its true worth.

Yet, more importantly, there will be a need to better define our sense of national purpose. Tangible evidence that we pull together as one. Projects that bring people together, and serve a national purpose too, will be the most important part of that recovery. 

No matter how you stand, on issues of community, communication or nation, there is one project of which I can think, that answers all those calls, and defines our recovery. That project is the completion of the Borders Railway. The very project to which our collective ambition is directed Onward from Tweedbank to Hawick and Carlisle, reconnecting the Borders in the spirit of community and cooperation.

Our movements may be restricted – for now – but our ambition remains unbounded. We do of course keep up our efforts remotely. When the time is right, and it is safe to do so, we will be re-engaging with decision makers, and progressing the Campaign.

Content also includes:

  • New Campaign website revealed 
  • Extension plans in more detail
  • Historic photo feature of late 1960s excursion 
  • This edition’s guest elected representative is Paul Wheelhouse MSP
  • Northern Powerhouse director Henri Murison on strategic significance of a new cross-border rail link

Press Release – 5 February 2020

Campaign for Borders Rail Newsletter 61

Headlines include:

• Two million passengers

• Operational issues

• Extension to Carlisle

• Congratulations for Stow community

• Harsh words from local councillor

• Channel 5 features line AUDIO INTERVIEW with Rob Bell LINK: https://www.dropbox.com/s/ije2nk3kld2bxws/rob%20bell%20and%20simon%20walton.m4a?dl=0

The Campaign for Borders Rail, the group that successfully lobbies for the building of the Borders Railway in Scotland, and continues to monitor performance, and seek extension through Hawick to Carlisle, welcomes figures that show record patronage. That is the headline story in the Campaign’s latest newsletter, sent to its membership today (attached).

Chair of the Campaign, Simon Walton, is quoted, saying: “We always said that the Borders Railway would be far more popular than predicted by the discredited business case, and so it has proved, yet again.”

The figures come from the Office of Rail and Road, and Campaigners say they further strengthen the case for extending the line and making it a new cross-border link, effectively reinstating the former route that connected communities in Edinburgh, Midlothian, the Scottish Borders, Dumfries and Galloway Cumbria and Carlisle.

Chair Simon Walton adds: “The Campaign has long argued tat this is not just a railway project, and that Campaigners recognise the far wider benefits that building this railway will accrue. The strategic benefits of this railway project cannot be underestimated. It is not just about reconnecting communities it is about economic regeneration on a regional scale, about social inclusion and about environmental sustainability It is about providing opportunities for generations yet to come. Most of all it is a tangible way to achieve the economic growth and environmental sustainability that is on everyone’s agenda.”

The newsletter also goes on to praise the community grounded projects within the Sottish Borders, such as the reinvigoration of the station buildings in the village of Stow – a community that the Campaign directly challenged the promoters to serve, and successfully lobbied for the retention of the historic buildings on the station site. The newsletter also features a personal perspective from former Stow resident and local councillor Sandy Aitchison, which pulls no punches in decrying the shortcomings of the line as it stands: “ I was told it was the Waverley Line’s return. It was not!”

Further news includes the second meeting of the Borderlands Growth Initiative, in which the Campaign takes an active role; the Campaign’s highly successful 20th anniversary AGM; the forthcoming Channel 5 series Walking Britain’s Lost Railways – presenter Rob Bell gave an exclusive audio interview to Simon Walton – also linked here — in which he praises the work fo the Campaign and recognises the generational benefits of bringing rails back to the Borders as a whole.

Campaign AGM told completion to Carlisle ‘nailed on’ – Press Release – 8 October 2019

 Holding its first AGM in Edinburgh for over ten years, the Campaign for Borders Rail was told on Tuesday morning that completing the main line from Tweedbank to Carlisle, was ‘absolutely rock solid’. That enthusiastic message came from Christine Grahame, MSP for Midlothian South, Tweedale and Lauderdale, who has been an enthusiastic supporter of the Campaign throughout its twenty-year existence. The prospect of rebuilding the southern section of the line, joining up with the existing Borders Railway from Edinburgh, would make a through route in the Scottish Borders a reality for the first time in fifty years.

 

Simon Walton, re-elected as chair of the Campaign, said he shared that commitment, and urged Campaigners to ‘raise their game’ as the Campaign sought to ensure that the promise of £10m for a feasibility study (made jointly by Holyrood and Westminster governments in September) remains top of the agenda, and delivers a positive recommendation. “I have always regarded the existing Borders Railway as phase one of our ambition for the Borders. Getting commitment to build the remainder has to be our next goal, and we’re moving closer to that every day,” he said. “The political climate has moved significantly in favour of environmentally sustainable economic development. That means railway projects like the completion of the Borders Railway make even more sense as a means of rejuvenating communities at the same time as greening the environment.”  

 

Author David Spaven, who wrote the definitive history of the closure and rebirth of the line, delivered a presentation and concise history of “The Borders Railway and 20 years of CBR”. Mr Spaven praised the efforts of the Campaign, particularly noting the successful case made for a station at Stow, and the concessions won to accommodate charter traffic. He was however critical of the cuts made to bring the railway project in on budget, and highlighted what he called inappropriate gold-plating on aspects fo the project, such as bridge structures designed for only one rail track, while also highlighting the additional costs of rectifying breaches to the line made in the intervening years.

 

Honoured guests included Hawick’s Madge Elliot, the emeritus campaigner, who organised a petition, presented to Prime Minister Harold Wilson at Downing Street in December 1968, and environmental campaigner Petra Biberbach, who was the first chair of the Campaign in 1999. Ms Biberbach and Mr Walton went on to cut a ceremonial birthday cake in commemoration of the Campaign’s anniversary.
For images, contact Ger Harley at Ger@edinburghelitemedia.co.uk / 07917161762

Simon Walton, chairman

‘The Campaign for Borders Rail one of the most successful grassroots rail campaigns in Great Britain’

www.campaignforbordersrail.org

℅ Future Hawick, 2 Kirk Wynd, Hawick TD9 0AL

Chairman.bordersrail@uwclub.net

Campaign for Borders Rail’s latest newsletter published – Press Release 1 September 2019

Ten million pounds for feasibility study, and ten thousand pounds to fund the Campaign.
Campaign for Borders Rail launches Onward To Carlisle fundraiser, and governments pledge funds for long awaited feasibility study to extend Borders Railway to Carlisle, as Campaign prepares to hold 20th anniversary AGM. These are the top stories for the Campaign’s latest newsletter.
Feasibility Study
Governments in Holyrood and Westminster have pledged to fund a cross-border feasibility study, as part of the Borderlands Growth Deal funding package. “Our biggest success since securing the reinstatement of the Borders Railway to Tweedbank,” said Campaign vice-chair Marion Short. “The Campaign’s efforts have helped win substantial funding for cross-border feasibility work on extending the line to Carlisle.”
The long-term benefits of the Deal aim to reach all parts of the Borderlands area. Marion Short adds that rail development will be the most tangible way to deliver significant and lasting benefits for individuals, businesses and communities. “Those living in the Scottish Borders south
of Tweedbank where currently communities do not enjoy a railway facility and residents there express a general feeling of social isolation,” she added.
In a busy newsletter, that’s unsurprisingly the lead story for the Campaign’s 1500 paying members. Those members will have an opportunity to express their views at the Campaign’s 20th Anniversary AGM and Celebration, being held in Edinburgh on 8 October.
Fundraiser 
“The generosity and commitment of the membership continues to impress me,” said Simon Walton, the Campaign chair. “They’ve consistently contributed to the running of the Campaign, but the financial burden of engaging with governments and agencies up and down the country cannot be borne solely but those dedicated individuals. We have ten times that number who informally support the Campaign, so we’ve launched a wider fundraising initiative to let that wider body offer support, even if they don’t feel they can commit to full membership.”
The Onward To Carlisle Fund is hosted by JustGiving.com with a target of £10,000 aimed at underwriting the Campaign’s engagement with stakeholders as the project moves through the critical feasibility study phase. “We are entirely voluntary, and we’re lobbying for the biggest development project in Britain without any paid officers,” said Simon Walton. “That’s not a boast, it’s a tribute to the commitment of the individuals involved with the Campaigner for Borders Rail. After twenty years, they deserve a celebration, and not a penny raised will even go towards paying for so much as the cake.”
Operations “13 minutes from Longtown”
Also in edition 60, there’s an in-depth look at the technicalities of operating an extended Borders Railway, by CBR’s Robert Drysdale. Speaking of a journey from Edinburgh, he said: “We estimate that a full-line run through to Carlisle would take around one hour and 50 minutes. At the south end of the line, journey times to Carlisle would be around 48 minutes from Hawick, 25 minutes
from Newcastleton and 13 minutes from Longtown.”
South Borders committee member Greg Cuthbert details the extensive programme of Campaign liaison, from community and commerce, to local council and ministerial committee briefings. “We carry on campaigning to see improvements in educational choice, social inclusion and employment prospects, and all the other opportunities that will come with the return of the railway,” he said, speaking as a guest of Stobart Group at the opening of Carlisle Lake District Airport.
Newsletter 60 is attached.
  
//ENDS
[Newsletter 60  has been circulated to members of  Campaign for Borders Rail]
PRESS CONTACT: Simon Walton 07540 313018
 
 
 

Campaign for Borders Rail’s latest newsletter published – Press Release 1 September 2019

Ten million pounds for feasibility study, and ten thousand pounds to fund the Campaign.

Campaign for Borders Rail launches Onward To Carlisle fundraiser, and governments pledge funds for long awaited feasibility study to extend Borders Railway to Carlisle, as Campaign prepares to hold 20th anniversary AGM. These are the top stories for the Campaign’s latest newsletter.

Feasibility Study

Governments in Holyrood and Westminster have pledged to fund a cross-border feasibility study, as part of the Borderlands Growth Deal funding package. “Our biggest success since securing the reinstatement of the Borders Railway to Tweedbank,” said Campaign vice-chair Marion Short. “The Campaign’s efforts have helped win substantial funding for cross-border feasibility work on extending the line to Carlisle.”The long-term benefits of the Deal aim to reach all parts of the Borderlands area. Marion Short adds that rail development will be the most tangible way to deliver significant and lasting benefits for individuals, businesses and communities. “Those living in the Scottish Borders south of Tweedbank where currently communities do not enjoy a railway facility and residents there express a general feeling of social isolation,” she added.

In a busy newsletter, that’s unsurprisingly the lead story for the Campaign’s 1500 paying members. Those members will have an opportunity to express their views at the Campaign’s 20th Anniversary AGM and Celebration, being held in Edinburgh on 8 October.

Fundraiser 

“The generosity and commitment of the membership continues to impress me,” said Simon Walton, the Campaign chair. “They’ve consistently contributed to the running of the Campaign, but the financial burden of engaging with governments and agencies up and down the country cannot be borne solely but those dedicated individuals. We have ten times that number who informally support the Campaign, so we’ve launched a wider fundraising initiative to let that wider body offer support, even if they don’t feel they can commit to full membership.”

The Onward To Carlisle Fund is hosted by JustGiving.com with a target of £10,000 aimed at underwriting the Campaign’s engagement with stakeholders as the project moves through the critical feasibility study phase. “We are entirely voluntary, and we’re lobbying for the biggest development project in Britain without any paid officers,” said Simon Walton. “That’s not a boast, it’s a tribute to the commitment of the individuals involved with the Campaigner for Borders Rail. After twenty years, they deserve a celebration, and not a penny raised will even go towards paying for so much as the cake.”

Operations “13 minutes from Longtown”

Also in edition 60, there’s an in-depth look at the technicalities of operating an extended Borders Railway, by CBR’s Robert Drysdale. Speaking of a journey from Edinburgh, he said: “We estimate that a full-line run through to Carlisle would take around one hour and 50 minutes. At the south end of the line, journey times to Carlisle would be around 48 minutes from Hawick, 25 minutesfrom Newcastleton and 13 minutes from Longtown.”

South Borders committee member Greg Cuthbert details the extensive programme of Campaign liaison, from community and commerce, to local council and ministerial committee briefings. “We carry on campaigning to see improvements in educational choice, social inclusion and employment prospects, and all the other opportunities that will come with the return of the railway,” he said, speaking as a guest of Stobart Group at the opening of Carlisle Lake District Airport.Newsletter 60 is attached.  

//ENDS

[Newsletter 60  has been circulated to members of  Campaign for Borders Rail]
PRESS CONTACT: Simon Walton 07540 313018

Onward to Carlisle Fund – Campaign launches funding drive online : Press Release 27 August 2019

Onward to Carlisle Fund
Campaign launches funding drive online
With around £2,500 already raised among members, the Campaign for Borders Rail today launched its Onward to Carlisle Fund via the online platform JustGiving.com.
Speaking at the lunchtime launch, Simon Walton, the Campaign’s chair, said that the pressure was on the Campaign to deliver. “We are closer than ever to seeing our goal achieved,” he said. “With the recent pledge from Westminster and Holyrood for a £10m feasibility study, it’s up to us to make sure this project does not get derailed.”
The Campaign seeks to build on the success of the opening in 2015 of the Borders Railway between Edinburgh and Tweedbank. The focus now is on extending that line to directly serve the Borders through Hawick and on to Carlisle.
 
“This voluntary organisation is working harder than ever, to engage with full-time agencies in England and Scotland,” said Mr Walton. “We intend to play a meaningful part in informing a feasibility study, and putting forward the best possible case for communities throughout the Borders, as well as the strategic case for building a new cross-border rail link, that best facilitates economic growth, social inclusion and environmental sustainability. Our modest funding requirements are met entirely by our members and supporters, and that’s why the Onward to Carlisle Fund is so important to the Campaign. We need to see this railway established within years, not decades, and we need to take our message further into the national agenda right now,” he said.
The Borders has been without a direct rail service since what was known as the Waverley Route and all its branches closed in 1969. Since then, the region has been in economic decline and the remaining rail network has suffered from the lack of alternatives to the busy East and West coastal routes that entirely bypasses the 100,000 residents in the region. The Campaign for Borders Rail has lobbied for the past twenty years to reinstate that link for the benefit of the Borders, the UK national rail network and for future generations. To support the effort, visit www.JustGiving.com and simply search “Campaign for Borders Rail”.
//ENDS
PRESS CONTACT: Simon Walton 07540 313018