Borders Rail Project is no white elephant - says MSP

Published: 7 Nov 2012 00:015 comments

CONFIRMATION that construction of the long-awaited Borders Railway will start early next year has been hailed as brilliant news for the future prosperity of the region by Midlothian South, Tweeddale and Lauderdale MSP Christine Grahame.

Christine Grahame MSP.

Commenting after a key meeting in Newtongrange which saw the signing of a project transfer agreement between the Scottish Government and Network Rail, Ms Grahame said: "The return of train services between Edinburgh and the Central Borders after a gap of over 40 years can only be good for the local economy, for our tourist industry and for the environment in one of the most attractive areas of Scotland."

She was particularly pleased that the railway would cut car journeys on the region's roads by about 60,000 peak trips per annum. It was also extremely significant that the Tweedbank terminus would be equipped to deal with tourist trains on a Sunday.

Ms Grahame added: "The announcement by Transport Minister Keith Brown that the capital cost of construction (£294 million at 2012 prices) is £60 million less than initial estimates should send a strong message to the cynics and sceptics who claimed the Borders Railway would prove to be a costly white elephant", commented Ms Grahame.

"Like many others I have campaigned long and hard for this project which will reconnect some parts of my constituency to the national rail network for the first time since 1969. The reintroduction of train services in 2015 will represent a marvellous achievement for all those involved in this crucial infrastructure project."

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  • Aoxomoxoa
    Unregistered User
    Nov 7, 12:06
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    "Transport Minister Keith Brown [has said] that the capital cost of construction [is] £294 million..."

    Only if you believe him, and only if you ignore the £54m that has been spent in preparatory work. By most people's reckoning, that puts the cost of the project at upwards of £350m. By most people's standards, that would be called obfuscation, at best, or simply lying.

    The final costs will probably be even more than that, given that they are still to bottom out the mineworking issues in Midlothian.

    Recommend?   Yes 15     No 11

  • Daibhi O Cathain
    Unregistered User
    Nov 7, 17:03
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    So at last our Borders Railway is going to happen! It is a triumph for the foresight of all who realise that, in an era of dwindling and ever more expensive resources, private transport will become a luxury for the privileged few, and dysfunctional bus services the curse of the many. All this is happening despite short-sighted planners who permitted destruction of the track bed, the protracted nay-saying of the ill-informed, the systematic and malicious disinformation of the self-seekers and cynics, and the pronouncements of parties who could have shown the vision of the statesman but, by playing to the bleating gallery of NIMBYs, chose rather the role of the kailyard politician. Congratulations to the individuals and organisations who have made our railway possible: they should have their names set in bronze at Tweedbank Station! Onward now to Hawick and Carlisle!

    Recommend?   Yes 17     No 14

  • jinman72
    10 posts
    Nov 8, 10:07
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    Well said Daibhi, its been a long time coming, after so much stalling on this project (after all it is 6 years since Royal Assent was received) , it is finally going to happen or at least it seems so. Why on earth can some of those who oppose the project not see that resources of fuel (particularly oil) are finite and will not last for ever, not to mention the spiralling cost of petrol and diesel right now, even more so for rural areas like the Borders Region. I for one, would have loved to have travelled on this railway when it was open through to Carlisle, but never had the chance, but even though I live over 200 miles away from Tweedbank, I will definitely travel on the part to be resurrected. Lets get the line open asap, confound the critics by seeing far greater numbers use it than forecast, aka Alloa, Bathgate and so on, then push for a continuation to Melrose, Newtown St Boswells and Hawick, although, sadly, I would never realistically expect it to carry on beyond Hawick.

    Congratulations to all those who have campaigned for all this , you deserve a huge pat on the back!

    Recommend?   Yes 13     No 10

  • wull
    Unregistered User
    Nov 8, 16:33
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    LETS HOPE WE DONT ALL GET TO RETIREMENT AGE BEFORE WE SEE IT HAPPEN, I READ TODAY THAT IT MAYBE IT WILL BE DELAYED BY YET ANOTHER YEAR, I PREDICT THAT AFTER THE NOVELTY HAS WORN OFF, WE WILL GO BACK TO CARS AND BUSES, LIKE WE DID IN THE 60S, HENCE THE BEACHING AXE.

    Recommend?   Yes 8     No 14

  • hazelkaye
    420 posts
    Nov 16, 18:02
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    WULL

    I'm already at retirement age but clearly remember the "weeping and wailing" when the line was wantonly closed in January 1969 as with the Pebbles loop in February 1962!

    What a waste of resources!

    Thankfully, I'm still here to see "The Waverley's" current renaissance!

    Recommend?   Yes 4     No 0