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