Borders Railway

The Borders Railway will link Tweedbank and Galashiels with Edinburgh from Autumn 2015. Thirty miles of railway line will run from the Central Belt into the Scottish Borders.

Borders Railway beats forecast by 22%

The latest figures show that the number of passengers carried on the Borders Railway has beaten the forecast by 22%. Nearly 700,000 people travelled on the line in its first six months of operation.
The figures indicate the new railway line is performing well beyond all expectations, representing a healthy increase of 22% on forecasts made prior to opening.
Overall 694,373 passengers travelled on the line between 6 September 2015 and 6 March 2016, well up on the projected figure of 568,023.
Transport Minister, Humza Yousaf, was joined by Phil Verster, managing director of the ScotRail Alliance, at Edinburgh Waverley Station today to announce six month railway usage figures which also detail individual station usage along the line.
Last year the Borders Railway opened following a £294 million investment by the Scottish Government to re-establish passenger railway services between Edinburgh through Midlothian to Tweedbank for the first time since 1969.
The development includes 30 miles of new railway and seven new stations with a timetable offering half-hourly services on weekdays and Saturdays, including peak time cross-Edinburgh services to and from Fife.
ScotRail’s patronage numbers, which are published today, show the overall usage of the line as well as a breakdown of passengers by station.

Forecast single trips for first 6 months of operation

ScotRail actual single trips for first 6 months of operation

Tweedbank 18,978 183,918 

Galashiels 20,567 104,593 

Stow 5,129 24,365 

Gorebridge 79,014 39,400 

Newtongrange 46,449 50,480 

Eskbank 114,568 65,672 

Shawfair 54,298 9,398 

Brunstane/Newcraighall 865 11,344 

Edinburgh Waverley 228,156 205,203 


568,023 694,373 +22%

Transport Minister, Humza Yousaf, said:
“There has been a surge of interest in the Borders Railway since it reopened last year; this is evident in the number of people who have travelled on the line over the first six months since opening.
“These figures are fantastic news for the region, further justifying the decision to bring a railway line back to the Borders for the first time in over 40 years.
“The reintroduction of a rail service to the Borders is opening up communities in the South-East of Scotland as new places to live, work and visit. Far from resting on our laurels the Scottish Government is now continuing our work with stakeholders, through the Borders Blueprint, to ensure that we build upon this positive start to support new opportunities, such as housing, commercial and leisure development along the Borders Railway corridor.
“The success of the Borders Railway is further proof that Scotland’s rail links are a powerful catalyst for economic growth.”
Phil Verster, managing director of the ScotRail Alliance, said: “We are incredibly proud to operate services on the Borders Railway – a route which, as the numbers show, is hugely popular with our customers.


“The extremely positive first six months is a wonderful start, and gives us a solid foundation on which to continue to attract new visitors to and from the Borders. We are committed to ensuring the lasting legacy of the Borders Railway.


“It’s clear that the success of the line has been a catalyst for other communities to champion their own rail links and we are working closely with partners to encourage and support economic growth across Scotland.” 

Train named after rail campaigner

A woman who campaigned to save and reopen the Borders Railway has had a railway locomotive named after her. Freightliner Locomotive 66528 will now carry the name “Madge Elliott MBE”.

Veteran railway campaigner, Madge Elliot has been honoured in a locomotive naming ceremony at Edinburgh Waverley Station today (Thursday 4 June) to mark the impending completion of Borders Railway works.

Madge, who led the campaign against the closure of the Waverley line in 1969 and was a founding member of the Campaign for Borders Rail, was piped into the station alongside her family and friends.  She was greeted by Cabinet Secretary for Infrastructure, Investment and Cities, Keith Brown, Network Rail project director, Hugh Wark, and Freightliner Heavy Haul managing director, Paul Smart, before unveiling the name plate.

The ceremony was arranged in advance of the new route opening for driver training next week.

The ceremony also marked the countdown to the start of rail services, with just 95 days until the 6 September launch. A giant artwork was unveiled in the station near the platforms to be used for many of the departures to the Scottish Borders.

Madge’s elder son, Kim Elliot said:

“For as long as I can remember, the railway has been a passion for my parents, but for my mother in particular, and it’s become a life-long interest for us all. We are delighted that, just days before trains start running on the railway once again, the project team has taken the opportunity to honour the role my mother played in re-establishing this link. It’s a fitting tribute to her that the engine carrying her name has been used to build this railway and hopefully many more.”

Keith Brown said:

“We are now just a heartbeat away from seeing this historic railway come back to life, and that is undoubtedly in huge part thanks to the tireless campaigning work of Madge Elliot.

“Days from now, the first ScotRail trains in almost half a century will travel down the line as the drivers begin to learn the route.

“This is an incredibly exciting time for the rail industry, and for the communities up and down the new railway, and I am delighted that we have been able to share this with Madge and honour the work she has done over the years.”

Network Rail’s Hugh Wark said:

“None of us would be here to celebrate the impending completion of this railway without the passion and dedication of Madge Elliot and the grassroots campaigners that got this project off the ground. It’s appropriate that we mark this historic moment by acknowledging her.

“We are now in the final phase of construction works. The railway will be available for driver training next week as planned and stations will be complete within the next two weeks. There are still some landscaping, planting and finishing works required, but nothing critical to the operation of the railway. Remaining works will be completed well in advance of September.”

Freightliner Heavy Haul’s managing director, Paul Smart, said:

“We are privileged to be able to pay tribute to Madge’s dedication by naming our Freightliner loco, number 66528 in her honour. We hope this will serve as a continual reminder of her passion and commitment to the railway. Freightliner is pleased to have played an important role in the completion of the Borders Railway project and we look forward to seeing the final touches being completed.”

Borders Railway Update – April

The final major road improvements have been completed with the reopening of the A6106 between Millerhill and Sheriffhall Roundabout. Works on the track and stations are entering the final stages in preparation for the line being opened for driver training. The project remains on course for opening in September, with the new timetable available tickets to be available in June.

Source: Network Rail