The funding to pay for Reston and East Linton stations is now in place but it’s looking increasingly likely to be four to seven years before trains are stopping there.
Following design work by Network Rail, current estimates are £10.63m for a new station at Reston and £11.13m for East Linton.
Scottish Borders Council and East Lothian Council have written to Scottish Government Transport Minister Humza Yousaf to confirm their support and financial commitment (£2.8 million from SBC for Reston and £3.44 million from ELC for East Linton).
Mr Yousaf in turn has indicated that the project will be included in a programme of works for Edinburgh and south east Scotland up to 2024.
Mr Yousaf said: “I am delighted that East Lothian and the Scottish Borders Councils have accepted my increased funding offer for Reston and East Linton stations. The Scottish Government has always been a strong supporter of these stations and my substantial funding offer reflects the value we place on the social and economic benefits the stations could potentially bring to Reston, East Linton and surrounding communities.”
A Scottish Borders Council spokesperson responded: “Both councils would like to see the proposed stations operational as soon as possible, but we understand that there is still a lot of work to be undertaken.
“At this stage both local authorities believe that a potential opening date of 2021 is achievable.”
SBC leader, David Parker added: “The Borders Railway is beginning to provide significant economic and social benefits for the central Borders, and we believe the re-introduction of a station at Reston could do the same for residents in the east of our region.”
Borders MSP, John Lamont, believes that pressure on the Scottish Government needs to be kept up so the project doesn’t slide towards a completion date in 2024: “I pay tribute to the many campaigners who have worked hard over so many years to bring stations to Reston and East Linton.
“Whilst this is a welcome step forward, we should remember that this Scottish Government has made generous promises about the delivery of these stations in the past.
“We must ensure that we keep the pressure on the SNP to deliver train services to Berwickshire and East Linton as quickly as possible.”