Latest Rail News

21.08.12

Borders Railway could mean slower services – CBR

Campaigners fear that changes to the Borders railway project could lead to journey times being extended from 55 minutes to over an hour – making it one of the slowest railways in east-central Scotland.

The Campaign for Borders Rail (CBR) is warning that cuts to the £295m project could be implemented, after Transport Scotland declined to repeat an earlier commitment to ensuring journeys take no longer than 55 minutes.

The project is officially due to be completed by December 2014, but is widely expected to be delayed. Transport Scotland has stated the CBR’s claims are “inaccurate”.

The CBR reported that industry sources believe Transport Scotland is planning to reduce the length of passing loops along the route, increasing the time the journey will take.

In a letter to transport minister Keith Brown, chairman of the CBR Lorne Anton wrote: “It has been suggested there would be later – post-opening – opportunities to put right initial deficiencies in the specification for the railway, but implementing enhancements in an operational railway is much more expensive than doing the job properly at the outset.”

A spokeswoman for Transport Scotland said: “These claims are inaccurate. Bringing benefits for local communities and businesses in Midlothian and the Borders remains the key consideration in our work with Network Rail towards delivery of this project.

“As we progress the detailed design our focus continues to be on journey time efficiency.”

(Image shows transport minister Keith Brown viewing the first track laid for the Borders railway at Millerhill, Midlothian.)

Tell us what you think – have your say below, or email us directly at opinion@railtechnologymagazine.com

Comments

Nonsuchmike   15/10/2012 at 20:24

So, there has been a start. Don't the residents and workers of the Southern Highlands deserve better than to have to wait so long for a rail connection back to Edinburgh?

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