Local and national rail sevice franchises

Reassurance is being sought that if a local train service is introduced between Edinburgh and Berwick it won’t impact on the national rail service between Edinbugh and London.

The question arose at last week’s Berwickshire Area Forum and Councillor Jim Fullarton replied that he had been given an assurance that the services from Edinburgh to London wouldn’t be impact by the local service, which is likely to include Reston station.

RAGES (Rail Action Group East Scotland) representatives, Barrie Forrest, added that they had met with the three companies shortlisted for the east coast rail franchise and emphasised to them the need to have the same services at Berwick and Dunbar as there is now. However, until the future east coast rail operator is decided no guarantees can be given.

If a local service was to start between Edinburgh and Berwick it would be operated by the company who wins the ScotRail franchise which is managed by Transport Scotland and is currently out to tender. A decision will be made in October and the new ten year franchise will begin in 2015. The new East Coast mainline franchise is also out for tender, due to start early next year.