'Momentous' day as passenger trains serve Reston for first time in half a century

Communities from East Berwickshire have been connected by rail for the first time in more than 50 years with passenger services now calling at Reston’s new £20M railway station.

By Kirsty Smyth
Tuesday, 24th May 2022, 10:11 am
Updated Tuesday, 24th May 2022, 10:11 am
Tom Thorburn, TPE managing director Matthew Golton, John Lamont MP and Barrie Forrest at Reston Station this morning.
Tom Thorburn, TPE managing director Matthew Golton, John Lamont MP and Barrie Forrest at Reston Station this morning.

Monday’s 6.16am TransPennine Express service from Edinburgh stopped at Reston, marking the first passenger service in the village since 1964.

The Border Piper, Sandy Mutch, played Scotland the Brave as the service arrived, marking the first time in half a century that local customers could use rail to travel to Edinburgh and Newcastle.

Barrie Forrest, chair of the Rail Action Group, East of Scotland (RAGES), is among those who campaigned to restore services in the village.

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He said: “It will make a huge difference. It will give us a transport system that we have not had for many years. It will enable young people to

further their education. Older generations can go out taking the train instead of the car.”

The first train to call at the new station, a TPE Nova 1, was named ‘St Abb’s Head’ to mark the historic occasion.

The next train to stop at the station was an LNER Azuma, carrying the special ‘Celebrating Scotland’ official tartan livery.

The inaugural northbound service departed from Reston at 07:27, before calling at Dunbar at 07:43, arriving at Edinburgh Waverley at 08:07.

Matthew Golton, managing director of TransPennine Express, said: “This is a landmark day for Reston – and for TPE – and we’re delighted we’ve been able to work with our partners to help connect communities in the Scottish Borders.

“Our customers are at the heart of everything we do, and it was fantastic to see so many using our newly named ‘St Abb’s Head’ Nova train this morning.

"We’re excited to welcome the hundreds of future travellers who have already purchased advanced tickets and look forward to the part TPE will play in providing new leisure and commuting opportunities for the local community.”

Schoolchildren from Reston Primary School were on hand to welcome the Minister for Transport, Jenny Gilruth MSP to the station, before being treated to a complimentary day trip to Edinburgh courtesy of TPE.

Ms Gilruth, who travelled on one of the first TransPennine Express services from Edinburgh, said: “I am delighted to be celebrating the re-opening of Reston, connecting another part of the Scottish Borders to Scotland’s rail network.

“For the first time since 1964 the people of Reston and Berwickshire will have rail connectivity.

“We know that reconnecting communities to rail isn’t just about transport; it’s opening up employment opportunities, it’s driving investment and it’s creating opportunity for future generations. This investment will change the lives of the people of Reston for the better.”

David Horne, managing director at LNER, added: “I am delighted to welcome Reston as our latest destination on one of the most scenic parts of our route, boasting magnificent views of both the Scottish Borders countryside and coastline.

“I know the residents of Reston will be thrilled that the station is open and services have resumed once again to Reston. Many have campaigned for a number of years to see this day and we are proud to be able to serve the community.”

Berwickshire MP John Lamont said today marked the start of an exciting new beginning of transport connectivity in Berwickshire and the Scottish Borders.

He said: “This is a momentous day for Reston and for the campaigners who have worked so tirelessly to see the station reopened.

“It was both a proud and emotional sight to see the first train roll into the station this morning. I was delighted that I was able to use the first service to take me to London for another busy week in the House of Commons.”

Paying tribute to Barrie Forrest, Tom Thorburn and the entire team from RAGES who have dedicated so much of their time to reinstating a station at Reston, Mr Lamont added: “I can’t wait to see the benefits that this new station will bring to our local area.

"With it now only taking 40 minutes to get to Edinburgh, 11 minutes to Berwick-upon-Tweed and about 60 minutes to get to Newcastle, it will undoubtedly open up job and educational opportunities for our young people in Berwickshire. The tourism opportunities will be massive too.”