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Scotsman cancellation is 'massive insult to Scotland' says rail campaign group

The Scotsman between Newcastle and Durham Credit: David Sloan

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.”


Council's disappointment over Flying Scotsman cancellation

Scottish Borders Council (SBC) officials have been informed that the Flying Scotsman will not be visiting the Borders on Sunday (May 15). This is as a result of Network Rail failing to complete the necessary work to ensure the safe passage of the Flying Scotsman on the Borders Railway.

It is extremely disappointing that the Flying Scotsman’s visit to the Scottish Borders cannot go ahead as planned on Sunday.

A huge amount of work has gone into the planning of this event, and we know this news will leave thousands of people very unhappy and let down.

Network Rail’s failure to complete the necessary work is quite frankly unbelievable and unacceptable. Only discovering the position this evening makes the news even more shocking.

We will make further announcements as to what events will take place on Sunday once we are able to review our plans as early as is possible on Saturday morning.

– Councillor David Parker, Leader of SBC

Thousands expected to watch Flying Scotsman

The Flying Scotsman drew large crowds in Carlisle. Credit: ITV Border

Around 20,000 visitors are expected to descend on the Scottish Borders this weekend to see the world famous Flying Scotsman.

The legendary locomotive has already visited Cumbria since its £4.2 million restoration, but it'll be the first time for 16 years that it has come to Scotland.

It will pass through Galashiels and Tweedbank on the Borders Railway on Sunday 15 May.


Meeting to discuss Borders Railway extension

Rev Brydon Maben was arrested at the protest at Newcastleton Station. Credit: Bruce McCartney

A talk will be held in Newcastleton tonight to discuss the prospect of extending the Borders Railway through the village following in the tracks of the old Waverely line.

Campaign for Borders Rail spokesman Simon Walton says it's important isolated areas like Newcastleton are reconnected via the railway.

Mr Walton says there's enough political will to deliver the project and the extension shouldn't take as long as the current railway did.

There were major protests in the town when the old Waverley Line was closed.

Sturgeon to look at extending Borders Railway if re-elected

Nicola Sturgeon will tomorrow announce plans to launch a feasibility study to find out how much it could cost to extend the Borders Railway to Hawick.

Credit: ITV Border

The SNP leader will visit Hawick tomorrow, as campaigners push for the line which currently ends at Tweedbank, to be continued all the way to Carlisle.

The Scottish Conservatives and Liberal Democrats are backing the study. ITV News Border has contacted the Scottish Labour party for comment.

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