The potential for new train stations at Reston and East Linton as part of a new local rail service between Edinburgh and Berwick is a step closer.
It follows an announcement by Transport Scotland that any companies bidding for the new ScotRail franchise would need to consider new stations at Reston in Berwickshire and East Linton in East Lothian.
The news has been welcomed by Scottish Borders and East Lothian councils, which have been working hard with local campaign group Rail Action Group East of Scotland (RAGES) to try to re-establish both stations
Councillor Gordon Edgar, SBC’s executive member for roads and infrastructure, said: “This is very good news for Berwickshire and the Borders. Although there is still along way to go before we see a re-opened station at Reston, it is a step in the right direction and vindicates the work that has been undertaken by SBC, East Lothian Council, the South East Scotland Transport Partnership (SEStran) and RAGES.”
SBC Leader David Parker added: “This is significant news for this development in terms of the potential reopening of Reston Station and it is clear that returning rail services to the eastern Borders would have a huge economic benefit to Berwickshire.
“Along with the construction of the Borders Railway, a significant amount of work is being undertaken by SBC and our partners to dramatically enhance rail provision to and from our region.”
Cllr Michael Veitch, East Lothian Council’s Transport spokesman, added: ““We have been working very hard for a lengthy period to establish the case for a local rail service between Edinburgh, Dunbar and Berwick, so this is a hugely welcome development. The reopening of East Linton station is an essential component of this project, and I very much hope that the final hurdles can be quickly cleared.”
The new ScotRail franchise is due to commence in April 2015 and there are currently five companies bidding for the contract which covers the operation of rail services throughout the whole of Scotland.