New book recalls age of steam

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The history of the railway from Berwick to St Boswells is being retold in a new book.

Roger Darsley and Dennis Lovett have traced the story of the line from its troubled beginnings to the long drawn out closure of the line, stretch by stretch, in the 1960s.

From 'Country Railway Routes: Berwick to St Boswells''A3 class 4-6-2-no.60095 papyrus heads onto the Royal Border Bridge with the 16.00 Glasgow to Leeds on 6th September 1955

From 'Country Railway Routes: Berwick to St Boswells''A3 class 4-6-2-no.60095 papyrus heads onto the Royal Border Bridge with the 16.00 Glasgow to Leeds on 6th September 1955

There were attempts to start building the line as early as 1809, but it was not until 1845 that the first trains ran between Tweedmouth and Sprouston, near Kelso.

Running a railway along the border was never easy. Coldstream landowners objected to tracks being laid in the town, meaning that it was served by a station - still called Coldstream - on the other side of the Tweed, at Cornhill. Meanwhile, the English village of Carham had its station on the Scottish side of the border.

By 1956, only Coldstream and Norham remained open for passenger traffic, and by 1968 the whole line had also been closed to goods traffic.

The authors suggest that the line may have survived so long due to the Cold War, with the Cheviots being considered as the site of a nuclear storage area requiring rail access.

A snow storm in December 1906 saw this Edinburgh to Kelso train stranded near Roxburgh

A snow storm in December 1906 saw this Edinburgh to Kelso train stranded near Roxburgh

Country Railway 
Routes: Berwick to St Boswells is available from bookshops now.