Full steam ahead as railway is set for right royal celebration

To mark the completion of the track installation of The Borders Railway at Tweedbank Keith Brown, cabinet secretary for infrastructure, investment and cities joins the project team to clip the final length of track.

To mark the completion of the track installation of The Borders Railway at Tweedbank Keith Brown, cabinet secretary for infrastructure, investment and cities joins the project team to clip the final length of track.

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The £354m Borders Railway, due for completion in June, will get a royal seal of approval when it is officially launched in September.

The opening ceremony will take place on Friday, September 4, when a steam train will make the first journey from Edinburgh’s Waverley station to Tweedbank.

Although details are being kept under wraps by Transport Scotland, it is understood that a member of the Royal family will board the VIP train at Galashiels and travel to the Tweedbank terminus where the line will officially be declared open after a break of 46 years.

A reception will later be held.

That event and the weekend of celebrations which will ensue were described by Scottish Borders Council leader David Parker as “a fantastic opportunity for our region to present itself positively to a massive audience”.

While the Friday ceremonial will be run by Transport Scotland, Visit Scotland and a major events company, SBC and neighbouring Midlothian Council are organising community celebrations along the route on the Saturday, when three inaugural passenger train journeys are planned.

Tickets for the Saturday trains will not be available to the general public, but Mr Parker said his council would be announcing in April how so-called Golden Tickets will be allocated.