January update from Simon Walton, CBR Chairman

“Simon Walton here. You may not have heard much from the chairman’s office lately, but it’s been all go behind-the-scenes at campaign HQ. Our change of committee came on the same day as the contract was signed to start work on the Edinburgh to Tweedbank railway, or, as we prefer to call it, Phase One.

“Now we’ve had the very good news that the Scottish Government, in collaboration with the Association of Community Rail Partnerships, will back the formation of CRPs in Scotland. Obviously, CBR is right behind the idea, and I for one am in no doubt that our membership will be first in line to sign up for any future Borders Railway CRP. That’s why we’ve already expressed an interest to Keith Brown, the Transport Minister.

“That is not the only development at CBR. With preparatory work already underway up and down the line to Tweedbank, we are looking at the question of where does the campaign go next? Of course, the answer is Melrose, Hawick and Carlisle! Seriously though, where do we next direct the emphasis, and the resources, of the campaign?

“Already, active members are putting together a list of things we’d like to do – including supporting the Borders Railway Project during the construction phase; and helping make sure the line is as successful as possible from Day One; and structuring our campaign efforts in pursuing our ultimate aim of re-establishing the whole route from Carlisle through the Borders and Midlothian to Edinburgh.

“We have had lots of ideas and suggestions already on specific things we should be doing to turn our aims into reality, and we need more from the whole membership and indeed from anyone who supports the railway. Whatever you feel CBR should be doing now and in the future, please do feel free to contact me, Simon Walton, at chairman.bordersrail@uwclub.net.

“If you feel you can be more active, even if only for an hour or two a month, then get in touch. There is plenty to do, from simply helping spread the word about campaign activities, to administration and helping with proposed events. Many hands make light work, and by working together we can make CBR even more effective. Wouldn’t it be great to be an active part of even greater successes in the years to come?

“We also need your help to upgrade our own lines of communication. With so much going on, would like to present a more frequent newsletter, but we can only afford to do that electronically. So, we’re contacting all our members, to ask for email addresses, or other ways to get in touch. If want to help with this urgent task, just drop me a line with your up-to-date contact details. Better still, encourage a friend to join as well.

“If you are a CBR member, watch out for Newsletter 43, coming soon by one means or another. If you’re not a member, join us now! Subscription and contact details are shown on the ‘Support Us’ page of the web site.”