History on the tracks as first Borders train ar­rives af­ter 46 years

The Oban Times - - News -

AN HIS­TORIC jour­ney was made on Satur­day as a train pulled into Oban from the Borders for the first time, writes Steven Rae.

The 11- coach, Scot­tish Rail­way Preser­va­tion So­ci­ety (SRPS) train, chugged into Oban just af­ter 1pm, hav­ing left the new Tweed­bank Sta­tion at 4.37am.

More than 400 pas­sen­gers then de­parted at Oban rail­way sta­tion.

The jour­ney was part of the new Borders Rail­way ser­vice, which was opened by The Queen on Septem­ber 9.

The route fol­lows the old Waver­ley Line, which once linked Ed­in­burgh to Carlisle through the Scot­tish Borders, but was de­com­mis­sioned in 1969.

Now, for the first time in 46 years, Borders rail pas­sen­gers can travel on 30 miles of new track run­ning from Tweed­bank, just out­side Galashiels to Ed­in­burgh’s Waver­ley sta­tion.

Bill Wil­son, train man­ager, is one of 25 vol­un­teers who works for SRPS, which pre­serves Scot­land’s rail­way her­itage with mem­bers car­ry­ing out restora- tion work on the so­ci­ety’s large col­lec­tion of rail­way equip­ment.

He said: ‘It’s one of the most stun­ningly scenic routes in Scot­land, up the west coast to the West High­lands.

‘The scenery is fan­tas­tic, and Oban is a lovely town.’

The pas­sen­gers were greeted by Kay Mac­don­ald and Joe Rioch of Bid­s4Oban, as well as Oban-based coun­cil­lor, Elaine Robert­son.

They dis­trib­uted fliers which wel­comed peo­ple to the town and pro­vided tourist in­for­ma­tion.

AR­RIV­ING IN STYLE: Pas­sen­gers on the Scot­tish Rail­way Preser­va­tion So­ci­ety train left the new Tweed­bank sta­tion in the Scot­tish Borders

and trav­elled on the re­cently- opened Waver­ley line to Ed­in­burgh be­fore head­ing north to Oban

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