RAGES raging about station opening delay

The new Azuma train on a test run to Dunbar Station.
The new Azuma train on a test run to Dunbar Station.

Alleged delaying tactics and lack of communication between Transport Scotland and Network Rail look set to put back the reopening of Reston station well into the 2020s, it is feared.

Rail Action Group East Scotland (RAGES) has described the situation as shambolic and is angry that Transport Scotland has decided to undertake another study of the capacity of the east coast main line to cope with a local rail service between Edinburgh and Berwick calling at stations including Reston and East Linton.

RAGES members were told that the study is likely to conclude “sometime in 2020”.

However, RAGES believes Network Rail was not informed about the study and does not have a budget for it.

RAGES chairman Tom Thorburn has written to the Scottish Government transport minister Humza Yousaf, saying: “Based on how long we have now been promised our stations, I would have to make the following conclusions.

“Trust in Transport Scotland and Network Rail is at an all-time low, given this further announcement of stalling. These two institutions require to be instructed to stop the messing about and get on with the job in hand.

“The stalling tactics have now got to stop – we have a list of these tactics, which, if required, we will publish.

“Had Barrie Forrest and I been given access permission from Network Rail, we could have built East Linton and Reston stations ourselves, given the time that we have worked on this RAGES aim.

“The diplomacy which RAGES has exercised over the past 20 years would appear not to have worked.

“Other stations which were proposed some years, even a decade, later than East Linton and Reston have been built and opened for public use.”

Scottish Borders Council has also written to Mr Yousaf asking for clarification of the timescale for the opening of stations at Reston and East Linton.

A council spokesperson said: “In February this year, we agreed to support a proposal by the Scottish Government to deliver the reopening of rail stations at East Linton and Reston within a programme of works for the south east of Scotland.

“The council has now written to the transport minister to request clarification around the timescales for delivery of the stations.

“The council awaits the minister’s response but is grateful to the Scottish Government for its ongoing contribution and support for both new stations.”