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Council funds Borders Railway celebrations

Credit: ITV Border

A fund has been launched today by Scottish Borders Council to help communities celebrate the return of the Borders Railway.

The Borders Railway Celebration Fund will offer grants of a few hundred pounds up to a normal maximum of £2,500 for special events to mark the occasion.

It is open to all non-profit making voluntary and community organisations, community councils, schools, public bodies and places of worship, and applications can be submitted any time up to 15 December 2015.

“We know that many communities wish to put on special events to commemorate and celebrate the arrival of the Borders Railway and this fund will assist them to do this.

“The fund will operate in a very similar way to the highly successful Queen’s Diamond Jubilee Fund and we are very keen to encourage applications from all over the Borders. We have worked hard to make the fund as flexible and as straightforward as possible and I hope that many Borders communities will apply and be involved in the celebrations."

– Councillor David Parker, Leader of Scottish Borders Council

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"We will do everything possible to work with cycle groups"

The company taking over the franchise of ScotRail at the beginning of next month, Abellio, insist cyclists will be catered for.

They issued the following statement:

"We will do everything possible to working with cyclists and cycle groups. Going forward after we commence operations on 1st April 2015 together with train manufacturers and cycle users, we will examine innovative ways of providing better on-board cycle storage. This will be done as a priority when we refurbish High Speed Trains for the inter-city service network. We will ask manufacturers for a range of solutions offering the most efficient and user-friendly way of cycle storage and will look at best practices all over Europe to cater for cycle spaces.

"The gain for cyclists in Scotland will be that we plan to invest £1.6m to increase the number of cycle spaces at stations by 1,500 within the first three years of the franchise. We will introduce three new, fully-staffed Dutch-style Cyclepoints at the key city hubs (Glasgow, Edinburgh and Stirling), which will provide the full range of services including cycle sales and hire, and Cycleparks+ at a further five stations and will add at least a further 2,000 cycle spaces – giving more than 3,500 over the first three years. In addition we will launch a ‘Bike&Go’ cycle hire network which will enable customers to complete their onward journeys by cycle from at least 10 specially selected stations, for only £3.80 per day.

"We will provide greater off-peak cycle capacity on trains: all new and refurbished trains will have multi-functional areas in addition to cycle spaces, creating up to six cycle spaces per three car unit. Customers will be able to reserve their cycle spaces in advance on our customer app in line with ticket purchase, and we will provide information on whether a particular train has spare capacity."

– Spokesperson for Abellio

Cyclists disappointed by lack of bike space on Borders Railway

Cycling enthusiasts across the Scottish Borders have been left disappointed after it was confirmed that only two bikes per train will be allowed to travel on the new Borders Railway.

The region has become one of the UK's top biking destinations, and some say it's an opportunity missed:

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Borders Railway reaches end of line

Cabinet secretary Keith Brown (centre) celebrates the completion of the Borders Railway Credit: ITV Border

The £350 million Borders Railway has been completed with the final section of track laid this morning.

Scottish cabinet secretary for infrastructure, investment and cities Keith Brown arrived at Tweedbank Station by train before clipping the final piece of track into place.

Work to lay the track began in October and the line will open to passengers between Edinburgh and the Borders on September 6 2015.

A train at the end of the new Borders Railway line at Tweedbank Credit: ITV Border

Completion of Borders Railway officially marked

The completion of track laying will be made official today Credit: ITV Border

The completion of track laying at the Borders Railway will be officially marked today.

Cabinet Secretary for Infrastructure Keith Brown will join workers and will clip the final length of track into place at Tweedbank Station.

Workers celebrating finishing the Borders Railway Credit: ITV Border

PICTURES: Border Railway track complete

The last bit of track has gone down on the Borders Railway.

Take a look at our photos of it happening.

The final piece of track being laid Credit: ITV border
Workers celebrating as they lay the final piece of track Credit: ITV border
The track is complete! Credit: ITV Border
Workers pose for a photograph to mark a job well done Credit: ITV Border
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