Media alert on railway infrastructure constraints

Just two days after the announcement of a major tourism initiative for the Borders Railway, The Scotsman has revealed to readers that the only way tourist charter trains can be accommodated on the single-track railway will be to reduce the half-hourly daytime frequency of ScotRail services. Much to the frustration of CBR, from as far back as the original Scott Wilson feasibility study in 2000, the Borders Railway infrastructure has been designed to provide capacity for half-hourly ScotRail trains, but with no paths for any other services, except in the evenings and on Sundays, when ScotRail frequency will be reduced to hourly. Rail author and CBR member David Spaven is quoted in the Scotsman story:

“Reducing the ScotRail train frequency to hourly in the middle of the day on Saturdays to accommodate tourist charter trains is not ideal, but the hourly ScotRail trains can be lengthened to cater for the extra demand.

“It’s very unfortunate the railway promoters and the political establishment ignored rail campaigners when they were pointing out these infrastructure constraints on tourist potential more than ten years ago. They were warned, but chose to ignore well-informed advice.”


One Response

  1. Running regular steam trains on the line is a great idea, but unless they provide a couple of crossing loops to break up the long single line sections and allow the steam trains to be looped to allow other trains to pass, I see this causing significant disruption to regular service trains. The steam trains will be considerably slower than the regular diesel units, especially on the steep climb southbound up Borthwick Bank. The 1 in 150 climb up the Gala Water valley won’t exactly be a cakewalk either.

    A crossing loop in the Gala Water valley between Fountainhall and Heriot could be furnished at very little cost I would have thought.

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