Strangely enough for such a massive project right on our own doorstep, the Borders Railway seems to have somehow sneaked up on many of us.
Everyone knows, of course, that trains will soon return to the abandoned line between Edinburgh and the Borders, but beyond that most of us know precious little about these £300 million plans.
That is true even among those living closest to the route, with one recent survey showing more than a quarter don’t know where service goes from and to.
Perhaps the 2015 start date still seems such a long way off that it just didn’t seem relevant to our day-to-day lives. And the very name, the Borders Railway, hardly makes you think of a service that will be stopping near your door in Edinburgh or Midlothian.
But this new railway line will do just that and has the potential to bring real benefits to this part of the Lothians.
For some, especially in Midlothian, it will change day-to-day life by offering a real alternative to driving into the city. Taking traffic off the busy roads into Edinburgh from the south is good for us all, bringing with it both environmental and road safety improvements. Local house prices are likely to be affected as more people are attracted to the area by the idea of a leisurely commute by rail.
It also opens up leisure opportunities such as day trips from Edinburgh by train into the heart of Sir Walter Scott’s Borders country.
The new railway will be nearer the front of our minds in the coming months as work starts to begin in the Lothians, including the temporary diversion of the City Bypass.
At least when we see the diggers in action we have the comfort of knowing that the results will bring a real boon to the area.
GOOD advertising is priceless – especially when it is free and goes to a billion people.
Edinburgh has scored a major coup after being chosen as the setting for an elaborate advert by Chinese mineral water firm Ganten.
This piece of marketing will cost the city nothing but will tap into one of the world’s major and growing tourism markets.
While the shortbread tin image may not be the message we are looking to project, it will bring in the visitors. And hopefully the new wave of Chinese tourists may well have another reason for visiting the Capital if the pitter patter of tiny panda paws is heard at Edinburgh Zoo.
All in all, it might just add up to a very happy Chinese New Year.