Timetable announced for Waverley rail line to Galashiels

  • An old aerial photo of Galashiels showing the original railway line coming into the town. Picture copied with permission from the Abbotsford Arms Hotel.
  • Route of the old railway from Galashiels. Copyright Herald & Times Group.

A five-year timetable to bring back the Waverley rail line to the Scottish Borders at a cost of almost £300m was unveiled in a "defining moment" of the project recently.

The announcement by the Scottish Government that it had instructed its agency, Transport Scotland, to set out implementation ended speculation that the link was doomed.

As recently as March this year, concerns were being raised over whether the route between Edinburgh and Tweedbank near Galashiels would be reopened as it emerged the cost had more than doubled.

The original estimate was £129m, but this rose to between £235m and £295m, an increase blamed on rising land values in the Borders and the addition of a further station.

The project is expected to create around 1000 jobs and lead to new homes being built.

Transport Minister Stewart Stevenson said yesterday: "The transition (to Transport Scotland) is a significant milestone and a defining moment in the evolution of this project.

"We remain committed to working closely with the three local authorities and look forward to the future with confidence."

The move was welcomed last night by the councils along the route - Edinburgh, Midlothian and Scottish Borders - and Friends of the Earth Scotland.

David Parker, leader of Scottish Borders Council, said: "The future health of the Borders is dependent, in part, on greater accessibility, both to the area, and to wider parts of Scotland."

However, Des McNulty, Labour's transport spokesman, said a clear funding structure was not yet in place. He said: "All we've got so far from the SNP are delays, rising costs and continued uncertainty."

Feel free to have your say about this news right here on s1galashiels - just click the Comment button!

Article by Brian Donnelly, published in The Herald. Also see 'A very real turning point in the fortunes of the region'.

Image on the front page: A sign depicting a steam train above Galashiels is a reminder of a time when the railway passed through the town, as it may do again in future. Photo by Graham Hamilton. Copyright Herald & Times Group.


alexander doherty says

That's good news hearing that we are now going through with the railway line, it's long overdue. If they started from when they first talked about it, we would have had the train running by now?? As the roads are terrible let's hurry it up - 5 yrs that's too long, LOL.

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