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Borders Railway opening details confirmed

The schedule has been released. Credit: ITV Border

Do you want to attend the opening ceremony of the new Borders Railway, or ride on one of the first trains?

It opens to the public on Sunday 6 September, and on Wednesday 9 September the Queen will unveil a plaque at Tweedbank Station.

The schedule for the events has now been finalised by Scottish Borders Council.

Sunday 6 September:

  • The first public services are expected to be very busy. The first northbound service departs Tweedbank at 08:45 and the first southbound train from Edinburgh leaves at 09:11, with an hourly service in each direction until around 23:00
  • Tickets for travel on Borders trains cannot be reserved for a particular service, so queuing systems will be in place at busier stations
  • ScotRail is encouraging people to buy their tickets in advance online or by telephone – although they can be bought on the day as well. Passengers who can travel later in the day on 6 September will face shorter queues

Wednesday 9 September:

  • The car park at Tweedbank Station will be a free public spectator area for the Queen's visit. Local bands will be playing from 11am, and the event is being compered by Alasdair Hutton, the voice of the Edinburgh Military Tattoo. The Queen is due to arrive at 12.18pm
  • Entry is from 9.30am and bag searches will take place as a security precaution. It's expected to be very busy
  • Toilets will be available but there will be no catering/refreshment facilities on site so you may want to bring your own
  • People are advised to come by public transport. Buses will run as normal, train services are subject to alterations, and car access is via Melrose Roundabout

Want to see the Royal Steam Train?

The train will pass through these towns (times subject to change):

  • 11.24am Heriot
  • 11.35am Fountainhall
  • 11.56am Stow
  • 12.07pm Galashiels (train will slow down as it passes station)
  • 12.18pm Tweedbank

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Mixed signals: the Victorian summer house with a special story

This summer house used to be a railway signal box. Credit: ITV Border

A Victorian signal box has a new calling - it's now a summer house in Wigton.

The box is nearly 150 years old, and was used in the 19th century to direct trains between Maryport and Carlisle.

It has been brought back to life by the Wilson family, who rescued it from the roadside.

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Children using drama to learn railway safety

Network Rail have found a novel way to teach children about rail safety.

Children from Langlee Primary in Galashiels have been using somewhat unusual methods to learn about the dangers of playing on rail tracks, using music and dance to get the message across.

"The message has been absolutely brilliant, they have made it really clear for the children because it has all been done through drama and, obviously different kinds of movement.

It is sort of imbedding it in the learning. They are just so excited but they know the message know which is so vital."

– Marion Romeril, Teacher Langlee Primary School

While work on the £350million project is continuing this scheme will reach out to other children in the area.

So far one and a half thousand children from fifteen different primary schools have had a session like this one, in the hope of reducing unnecessary casualties.

"Sadly people die on the railway every year from trespass related accidents and that is something we want to try and address from, even before we start running trains on the route, on the Borders Railway line."

– Craig Bowman, Network Rail

The line is expected to open in the autumn of next year, and the people behind this scheme hope the children will continue to remember what they have learned.

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