A 16-week-long project has began on the transformation of the South Tynedale Railway. The 3.5 mile line is being extended to Slaggyford.Read the full story ›
Rail enthusiasts have turned out to see Flying Scotsman as the locomotive marks its return to Scotland with a trip from Edinburgh to Fife.Read the full story ›
The Flying Scotsman came to Tweedbank on the recently reopened Borders railway today.
The tour was cancelled on Friday night after Network Rail revealed it had not had time to check the Scotsman could safely travel along the planned route. However yesterday afternoon it was announced that the checks had been completed, and that the trip could go ahead as planned.
People have been tweeting photos and videos of the Flying Scotsman as it passed through the Borders today:
Network Rail has this afternoon announced that it has reinstated the planned Flying Scotsman tours of the Borders railway and Fife on Sunday.
Mark Carne, Network Rail chief executive, said: "Overnight and through today our engineers and analysts have worked hard to find a way to get the necessary safety checks and engineering assessments done. I am pleased to say that we have been successful and are now able to reinstate the original planned tours of the Flying Scotsman in Scotland on Sunday.
"I wholeheartedly and sincerely apologise for the consternation caused by the premature announcement yesterday.
"Once the tours have been safely and successfully run, I will be instigating a full investigation into how this problem occurred on our railway in Scotland."
Follwing the cancellation of the Flying Scotsman's trip through the Bordders last night, Scottish Borders Council has been advised that the Flying Scotsman will be making a return trip from Edinburgh to Tweedbank on Sunday 15 May 2016 as originally planned. As a result, all original plans have been reinstated. This includes the food and drink market in Tweedbank and all community events in Galashiels.
David Parker, Leader of the Council, said: “We are absolutely delighted to be told the news this afternoon that the Flying Scotsman will be visiting the Scottish Borders tomorrow after all.
He went on to praise Phil Verster, Chief Executive of the ScotRail Alliance and said: “Phil Verster and his team deserve enormous credit for what they have done to allow the safe passage of the Flying Scotsman to the Borders tomorrow as originally planned. The hard work and dedication of the ScotRail Alliance has managed to resolve in less than 24 hours what Network Rail have been unable to do in 12 weeks.
“I would also like to thank Derek Mackay, the Transport Minister who has clearly worked extremely hard to ensure that the very special events planned for this weekend in Scotland can take place.
“Going forward, there must be lessons learned from this and in particular how events are managed by Network Rail in the future. We will work with the ScotRail Alliance to ensure that what we have witnessed this weekend never happens again.”
Events planned alongside the Flying Scotsman's visit will continue despite the cancellation of the train's journey through the Borders.Read the full story ›
The Campaign for Borders Rail says nothing short of a public enquiry will satisfy the anger felt across the community at the failure by Network Rail to make the necessary preparations for the visit of Flying Scotsman to the Borders Railway. In a statement, the Campaign said Network Rail was paid public money to build the Borders Railway and make it suitable for the Flying Scotsman and other steam locomotives to make occasional journeys to help boost Scottish tourism.
Allan McLean, Chairman of the Campaign for Borders Rail, noted: “Network Rail says it never had enough time to arrange for an event a lot of people had been looking forward to for months. Network Rail is using its own incompetence to try to justify the unjustifiable. There's a two-word Scottish response to this insult: Aye, right!"
Allan McLean added there was no excuse for this failure to perform the job the infrastructure company was employed to do.
“This is a massive insult to Scotland,” he said. “From the distant vantage point of Network Rail HQ in Milton Keynes, this represents nothing more than yet another administrative error resulting in the cavalier cancellation of a charter train, for which several hundred people have paid premium fares to enjoy a spacial day out. What they have totally failed to comprehend is the iconic nature of this particular visit, and the tens of thousands of visitors this particular occasion would bring to the Borders.”
This year's Cumbrian Challenge has already raised over £140,000 for veterans' charity Walking with the Wounded, with more donations to come.Read the full story ›
The Scottish Government has lamented the incompetence of Network Rail after the cancellation Flying Scotsman's journey through the Borders.Read the full story ›