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Flying Scotsman journey BACK ON

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.”

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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

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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.

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