New costings for Reston Station expected in July

An artist's impression of one of the 70 new trains being built for the ScotRail fleet for new franchisee Abellio. Transport Scotland
An artist's impression of one of the 70 new trains being built for the ScotRail fleet for new franchisee Abellio. Transport Scotland

A series of meetings about the proposed new local rail service between Edinburgh and Berwick has seen campaigners keep up the pressure.

Since the new service was included in the new ScotRail franchise RAGES (Rail Action Group East Scotland) has met with Transport Scotland representatives, wanting start dates for work on the two new stations (Reston and East Linton) and for the first local trains to start running.

New Scottish service operator Abellio indicated a start date of December 2018 but RAGES countered that with open access services (operated commercially rather than as a franchise or concession agreement) being considered from London to Edinburgh, the local service could start sooner if rolling stock was available.

Transport Scotland outlined the reasons for a two year delay: no trains available until December 2018; and the length of time, up to 12 months, that Network Rail would take to produce the specification of the two stations.

Updated costings for developing the stations at Reston and East Linton are being worked on and should be ready by mid-July, and the final date for completion of the station specifications should be ready for contractors by February 2016.