On track to drive business and tourism into the Borders

Its closure was among the most controversial of the Beeching cuts. Despite widespread opposition and at times physical protest, the Waverley Route connecting Edinburgh to Carlisle via the Scottish Borders carried its final passengers in January 1969. Fast forward five decades and the route’s partial replacement, the Borders Railway, stretching 35 miles from the Scottish capital to Tweedbank, just beyond Galashiels, would appear to be flourishing, attracting visitors and new investment into the Borders communities that it serves.

We are really only at the tip of the iceberg Phil Dibsdale There are now calls for the line to be continued 60 miles further south to Carlisle, reinstating the original historic route, with ministers pledged to look into the feasibility of such an extension.

As the new Borders Railway hurtles towards its second anniversary, the partnership that oversees the service is confident it can convince more businesses to relocate and expand thanks to the existence of a reliable alternative to the, at times treacherous, A7 trunk road. One of those with a key role in getting that message across is Phil Dibsdale, inward investment manager for the Borders Railway Blueprint Group, who is leading a new campaign – dubbed “Borders Railway: More Connected” – that will use the line as a catalyst for economic and social regeneration.

Read the full article in The Scotsman