Local east coast rail service mustn’t be forgotten

Intercity trains run through Berwickshire but none stop as the county has no station and hasnt had for over 50 years. RAGES want to change that.
Intercity trains run through Berwickshire but none stop as the county has no station and hasnt had for over 50 years. RAGES want to change that.

The action group campaigning for a local rail service between Edinburgh and Berwick are ramping up the pressure with the new Scottish transport minister.

During the Scottish Parliament election period promises were made by First Minister Nicola Sturgeon that the SNP remain committed to re-opening Reston and East Linton stations on the east coast and the introduction of a local service and RAGES (Rail Action Group East Scotland) intend making sure that those promises are kept.

RAGES met with pre-election transport minister Derek Mackay in March this year who promised another meeting in two months time. But the position of transport minister has now been taken by Humza Yousaf, and RAGES are expecting him to get up to speed with the east coast local train service sooner rather than later.

The earliest date for a local service between Edinburgh and Berwick to start is December 2018.

“It’s 52 years this month since Reston station was closed - the last station in Berwickshire,” said Barrie Forrest of RAGES.

“When Nicola Stugeron visited Eyemouth she told me that if they were re-elected that would be fully committed to Reston Station - it was in their manifesto.

“We want a meeting with the new transport minister asap. We have got to get this area back on the map.

“I’m glad the Borders railway has been a success and they are looking at the feasibility of extending it as far as Carlisle but I’m sure that a local service and re-opening stations on the east will be as big a success as the Borders railway.

RAGES say that the TransPennine Express services from Manchester to Newcastle which is being extended to Edinburgh from December 2019 had to include stops at Reston and East Linton.