Hopes that a local train service between Edinburgh and Berwick could start as early as December 2016 have been dashed by new ScotRail franchise holder Abellio.
The company is due to take over ScotRail services on April 1, and at a meeting with RAGES (Rail Action Group East of Scotland) it made it clear that the new local service down the east coast line will not be up and running until December 2018.
The delay is down to shortage of stock and that Abellio intend using the new Hitachi units for the east coast line, which won’t be supplied until December 2018.
RAGES chairman Tom Thorburn has asked for a meeting with the Scottish transport minister to discuss the delay.
At the meeting Abellio confirmed that the service could include stops at all stations on the line between Edinburgh and Berwick including East Linton and Reston when built, but an extension of the service to Newcastle was not accepted.
On weekdays, the first train will leave Edinburgh at 6.31am and will run at two hourly intervals, the last train to Berwick in the evening being at 10.33pm. Departures from Berwick to Edinburgh start at 7.41am, and again run two hourly with the last train to Edinburgh at 11.44pm.
The current 7am CrossCountry service from Dunbar to Edinburgh will be run by ScotRail and timed so passengers can connect with the CrossCountry service to Glasgow, starting at Edinburgh.
On Sundays, there will be a three-hourly service from Edinburgh.
Abellio will take over the running of Dunbar Station from late June 2015.