Borders Railway prominent in new issue of Modern Railways magazine

The May issue of ‘Modern Railways’ magazine features two articles on the Borders Railway – railway historian Ann Glen reviews construction progress, while in a 3,000 word piece rail author and CBR life member David Spaven is strongly critical of Transport Scotland over the reduction in loop lengths and the failure to ‘future proof’ road overbridges. He concludes:

“Despite the unnecessary difficulties which the Borders Railway will now face, we should not lose sight of the fact that this is one of the most remarkable rail projects in modern British history. A workforce peaking at 1,000 on any one day is transforming a corridor of 30½ miles, 121 bridges and two tunnels into a safe and sustainable transport link which will partially put right one of the great wrongs of the old model of London-based transport policy. This will be an astonishing achievement for a prospect which was dismissed by all but a handful of rail visionaries just 20 years ago. But will its deserved success be fundamentally undermined by the short-termist approach of Transport Scotland? Only time will tell.”

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CBR puts up a final ‘marker’ on train service reliability

With construction works well advanced and the railway due to reopen in a little over a year’s time, CBR has taken the opportunity to clearly re-state – for future reference – its concerns about infrastructure provision and service reliability on the Borders Railway. In a letter to the Chief Executive of Transport Scotland, CBR Chair Simon Walton highlights the vulnerability of the service – following the cutback in double track provision – to delays originating outwith the Borders Railway itself, and says:

“If, despite the reassurances given by Transport Scotland and Network Rail, reliability proves poor, we will expect urgent remedial infrastructure works to remedy the problem. Further relaxation of journey times to provide additional recovery time should not be contemplated…CBR would also ask Transport Scotland to set a clear aspiration for a 55-minute maximum journey time in both directions between Waverley and Tweedbank.”

CBR’s letter to Transport Scotland is attached.

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