Borders rail is a route to success

A train on the Borders rail line passes Newtongrange. Picture: Ian Georgeson
A train on the Borders rail line passes Newtongrange. Picture: Ian Georgeson
0
Have your say

The Borders Railway really has been a great success story.

As it marks the second anniversary of its opening by the Queen, it is hard to argue with the 2.6 million passengers it has attracted, many of them swapping their cars or the bus for a trip by rail.

The line has made a large part of Midlothian and the Borders cleaner, greener and richer too, helping persuade more tourists and daytrippers to venture south from the city. More people are buying homes near the line - pushing property prices up - in the knowledge it offers a convenient route to the city centre.

The only arguments it is now sparking are whether or not it should be extended and why services cannot be more reliable. One in seven services have have been cancelled, severely testing the patience of travellers.

There are hopes that the Queensferry Crossing may have a similar impact on the south of Fife, attracting new jobs and homes to Rosyth in particular.

But the Borders line is proof that major transport infrastructure can transform the area around it.

The trams for all their troubles could yet deliver such benefits to Leith. The business case for them is stronger than the one on which the Borders rail was delivered.