The worst of Beeching

The Scotsman reports a new analysis of Beeching’s cuts which ranks the Waverley Route as the worst line closure in Britain.

http://www.scotsman.com/the-scotsman/transport/450-miles-of-scots-railway-dodged-beeching-axe-1-2848941

Produced by rail consultant, author and CBR member David Spaven – with help from two rail industry colleagues – the table (see link below) ranks fifteen different routes by length of line closed / distance from the remaining rail network / population / ‘strategic connectivity’.

Beeching closures comparison final summary table

Spaven comments:

“There may be knowing smiles that the route about which I’ve written a book tops the table – but my colleagues actually prevailed upon me to increase my initial score for the Waverley Route, as they felt I was trying too hard to be seen to be scrupulously fair in the analysis! Since closure left the Borders as the only region of Britain without a rail service, and no other towns as large as Galashiels and Hawick as far from the rail network, I think the overall judgement is probably correct.”

Always two sides to a story…

Today’s Edinburgh Evening News takes the report which Saturday’s Herald used to try to discredit the Borders Railway – and sees the positive side of the story!

Under the headline ‘Borders rail link could cut 530,000 road trips’ the paper quotes author (and CBR Life Member) David Spaven on various angles ignored by the Herald:

“There has been a tendency to be over pessimistic about the number of passengers who will use the new railway and we know from experience that many rail reopening schemes have done enormously better than forecast.

“Because of the limits of modelling, it probably doesn’t pick up on what the railway can do in terms of tourism – with the massive number of tourists in Edinburgh looking for other things to do, there is scope for attracting them to Sir Walter Scott country – Tweedbank is just a mile from Abbotsford. I doubt whether that has been factored in.”

Read the whole story on:

http://www.scotsman.com/edinburgh-evening-news/transport/borders-rail-link-could-cut-530-000-road-trips-1-2820819

September 2015 start of services?

An article in New Civil Engineer magazine – to which we’ve been alerted by the Capital Rail Action Group – suggests that September 2015 will see the start of train services on the Borders Railway. Although much of the text of the article will be familiar, there are one or two other interesting snippets – but regretably CBR is not mentioned in the potted history of the rail re-opening campaign. See:

http://files.groupspaces.com.s3.amazonaws.com/files/43985/682774/New%20Civil%20Engineer%20article%20on%20Borders%20railway%2C%2014%20Feb%202013.pdf?AWSAccessKeyId=0A8Z1WYDADBF2DZEBCG2&Expires=1362415426&Signature=Yp7MQeYGPwBGW2%2FqNjIDr0a2eXY%3D

A quick response to the doom-mongers!

Following a cobbled-together front page story in the 2nd March Herald, which tried to cast doubts on the business case for the Borders Railway, readers of the paper – including David Steel, and Paul Tetlaw from Transform Scotland – have today set the record straight with a fine array of ripostes. See:

http://www.heraldscotland.com/comment/letters/borders-cannot-afford-not-to-have-a-rail-link-with-capital.20393211