consultants who have been commissioned by the Scottish Government to look at local rail services between Edinburgh and Newcastle and the possible re-opening of Reston and East Linton stations are due to report back with their findings some time this month.
Originally it had been expected that the work by MVA Consultancy would have been completed by November 2010 and that the outcome would form part of the new ScotRail franchise of 2014. However, until the consultants had a copy of East Coast’s new timetable, due to become operational on May 23, they were unable to go ahead becasue they needed to know how the new timetable would impact on the route north of Newcastle.
The consultants have now told the Rail Action Group East of Scotland (RAGES): “We finally received the timetable in a verstion suitable for our use at the end of January.
“This has been uploaded in the RAILSYS timetable modelling software and the scope for additional Edinburgh to Berwick and Edinburgh to Newcaslte train paths is being investigated. We are currently assessing the impact of these services on patronage and revenue etc with and without new stations at East Linton and Reston.”
RAGES remains concerned about the new timetable that will start a week on Monday, their main concerns for passengers to and from Berwick are that three south bound trains between mid morning and mid afternoon have been removed, and the new timetable does not address the recurring complaint about a lack of late night trains between Berwick and Edinburgh.
Reponding to RAGES, East Coast’s managing director Karen Boswell said that CrossCountry trains would call at Dunbar every two hours in both directions and ScotRail had introduced a service every two hours between Edinburgh and Dunbar. This does not, however, resolve the issue of a lack of trains from Berwick in the middle of the day.