Call for Borders Railway track upgrades

The Borders Railway at Eskbank
The Borders Railway at Eskbank

Electrification of the Borders Railway could deliver major acceleration of trains and a higher frequency, but only if some essential track upgrades are delivered at the same time, say the Campaign for Borders Rail.

Responding to the news, revealed exclusively in The Scotsman last week, that Transport Scotland is considering electrification of the Borders Railway, the campaign group has unveiled its own plans. It has drawn up a package of measures, coupled with electrification of the line to Tweedbank, to double the frequency of trains between Edinburgh and Gorebridge, and to bring the journey time from Edinburgh to Tweedbank by ‘limited stop’ trains to under 45 minutes.

Robert Drysdale, the campaign’s Rail Service Planner, said: “Gorebridge would become a convenient interchange between the two services, ensuring journeys between Midlothian stations and the Borders remain an easy option. The extra trains into Edinburgh would relieve overcrowding and provide Midlothian with its own dedicated service.”

Costings are unavailable, but the campaign would like Transport Scotland and Network Rail to build improvements into their current plans for electrification of the route. “It is essential that electrification of the Borders Railway is taken forward in tandem with our proposals”, said Robert.