Steam trains will run on the Borders Railway, and Tweedbank is to be the site for the permanent home of the Great Tapestry of Scotland.
These announcements were made by First Minister Alex Salmond during a visit to Tweedbank last week.
Mr Salmond said the route could become one of the “must-see tourist lines in Europe” and announced that a feasibility study will look at how it could transform the tourism potential of the Borders.
The study will examine tourist opportunities from any future development of the line, including the potential for a turntable and the creation of a permanent home at Tweedbank station for the Great Tapestry of Scotland.
Mr Salmond said: “The feasibility study is not about if this is going to happen, it will say how this will happen – the Borders Railway will open next year, and steam trains will run next year, and this Great Tapestry centre will be built and move this project on to fulfil its potential.”
The first train will run on September 6 next year, with the visitor centre opened in 2016.
Mr Salmond added: “For commuters and tourists alike, the reopened line will provide opportunities to enjoy the many fantastic attractions and experiences on offer in the Borders.
“We can expect the Scottish economy to benefit by tens of millions of pounds from the regular train line.
“The feasibility study will look at how the area can benefit from the railway. With a dedicated tourist service and the attraction of the Great Tapestry of Scotland to be based at Tweedbank, more people than ever will get to visit and enjoy Scotland’s stunning Borders.”
A train will be covered in special livery advertising the tourist potential of the Borders and the station at Galashiels will be extended to accommodate longer tourist trains.
Welcoming the announcement MP Michael Moore said: “It’s a good day for the Borders and an important step for the Borders Railway. Like many others I look forward to travelling on the train regularly. I also welcome the news about the tourism potential of steam trains on the route. Coupled with the news about the Great Tapestry of Scotland, this is a good day.”