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Borders Railway steam journeys ticket sales open

The Borders Railway has started selling tickets for the anticipated steam train journeys on the new line from Edinburgh Waverley to Tweedbank and back, beginning on 10 September.

Normal passenger services begin on the line from Sunday 6 September.

The steam journeys for tourists and heritage-lovers will be hauled by the 60009 Union of South Africa, one of the six remaining LNER Class A4 steam locomotives in the UK, built in Doncaster almost 80 years ago.

ScotRail is offering passengers the opportunity to travel in a refurbished vintage carriage on the new line following the successes of the Inverness and Carlisle steam train specials in June.

Transport minister, Derek Mackay, said: “It’s fantastic to see these iconic trains back in operation, allowing so many people the opportunity to appreciate Scotland’s countryside and railways from a unique and very special point of view, and to see them running on the long-awaited Borders Railway will be a real jewel in the crown both for Scotland’s tourism and rail industries.

“There can be few railway journeys which match the outstanding scenery on this new route, and I look forward to it being extremely successful. Steam services running on the reopened Borders Railway really will recapture the golden age of Scottish rail travel.”

Offered in partnership with Steam Dreams, travels will be available every Wednesday, Thursday and Sunday for six weeks. Tickets will be available at £75 for first class, £40 for standard class, and £20 for a child’s ticket.

Yesterday (26 July) the new line welcomed its ‘first’ passenger, well-known rail campaigner Madge Elliot MBE, ahead of the railway’s official inauguration.

She had led a petition to keep the Waverley route from Edinburgh to Carlisle open in 1968 and later helped found the Campaign for Borders Rail, which pushed for rail service restorations. Infrastructure secretary Keith Brown MSP called her “a legend of the Borders and the railways”.

Her trip, during driver training, marked the start of the six-week countdown until passenger services start running.

(Top photo showing 60009 copyright Samuel Ashton, Creative Commons CC BY-SA 3.0, uploaded by user CrossHouses)


Nonsuchmike   28/07/2015 at 14:48

Hats off to Madge as her dream & campaign come to (partial) reality. Now for a "can do" strategy to get the railroad past points built over since closure, maybe taking a slightly different line, and moving the rail further south and west; some may say, why not further south and east as well? At least the line is now built to Tweedbank. We have a sneaking suspicion that numbers traveling will exceed official pro forma figures if the pricing, timing and reliability of the service lives up to expectation.

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