Slow speed ahead for railway through Midlothian

Borders Railway: work being done on the new railway at Eskbank
Borders Railway: work being done on the new railway at Eskbank

Passengers on the new Borders Railway face longer journeys and will travel at an average speed of just 37mph, its timetable has revealed.

Most trains will take longer than the promised 55 minutes between Edinburgh and Tweedbank, near Galashiels, with some completing the 35-mile trip in up to one hour six minutes. The timetable showed that 42 of the 66 weekday services in either direction will take longer when the railway returns in September.

The average journey time is some 57 minutes – but 58 minutes on southbound trains.

The blow for commuters hoping for a speedy ride comes on top of the decision to operate ScotRail’s most unreliable trains on the route when it opens in September.

In addition, the timetable has indicated that six services are expected to be cancelled two days a week for the first six weeks to make room for steam trains because much of the line is single track.

A Transport Scotland spokesman said: “Transport Scotland presented the draft timetable last year, and was very clear that this was subject to industry processes, which have now been completed and agreement reached between Network Rail and operator ScotRail.”