Track and signalling

09.10.19

Carlisle extension to Borders Railway making positive progress

Borders Railway trains could soon be travelling down as far as Carlisle, after campaigners for the line extension were told their goal is “moving closer” at their campaign group’s annual general meeting.

The Campaign for Borders Rail (CBR) have been campaigning for the Carlisle extension for number of years, and were told during their meeting by MSP Christine Grahame that their case for extending the line to Cumbria was “rock solid”.

Chairman of the CBR Simon Walton urged campaigners and supporters of the scheme extension to “raise their game” to keep up pressure. A study looking into the viability of extending the line to Carlisle is included in the developing Borderlands Growth Deal.

CBR has been active for 20 years, and successfully campaigned for the opening of a route from Edinburgh to Tweedbank – an accomplishment its chairman is proud of, but has called only a partial success.

READ MORE: New study to consider extending Borders railway to Carlisle

Mr Walton said: “I have always regarded the existing Borders Railway as phase one of our ambition for the Borders. Getting commitment to build the remainder has to be our next goal, and we're moving closer to that every day."

He added that the political climate had "moved significantly" in favour of "environmentally sustainable economic development".

"That means railway projects like the completion of the Borders Railway make even more sense as a means of rejuvenating communities at the same time as greening the environment.”

READ MORE: UK Government announces support for feasibility study into Borders Railway extension

Ms Grahame described the route as the “people’s railway” and added: “It has encouraged other communities to campaign for reinstatement of rail links lost to them in the years of the Beeching cuts when the rail network in Scotland was decimated.

"Its success has shown that the case for the extension into the UK network and on to the European rail network is rock solid."

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