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Borders railway campaigner honoured in naming ceremony

Madge Elliot in front of the locomotive named after her Photo: ITV Border

Veteran Borders Railway campaigner Madge Elliot has been honoured in a locomotive naming ceremony at Edinburgh Waverley Station today.

None of us would be here to celebrate the impending completion of this railway without the passion and dedication of Madge Elliot and the grassroots campaigners that got this project off the ground. It's appropriate that we mark this historic moment by acknowledging her."

– Hugh Wark, Network Rail

The eighty-one-year-old led the campaign against the closure of the Waverley line in 1969.

She started a petition against the move, and on Wednesday 18 December 1968, attended Downing Street with her eldest son to deliver it to the Prime Minister, Harold Wilson. The petition had 11,768 signatures.

More recently she was a founding member of the Campaign for Borders Rail.

She was piped into the station alongside her family and friends.

“For as long as I can remember, the railway has been a passion for my parents, but for my mother in particular, and it’s become a life-long interest for us all.

We are delighted that, just days before trains start running on the railway once again, the project team has taken the opportunity to honour the role my mother played in re-establishing this link.

It’s a fitting tribute to her that the engine carrying her name has been used to build this railway and hopefully many more.”

– Kim Elliot, Madge Elliots elder son

The ceremony was arranged in advance of the new route opening for driver training next week.

It also marked the countdown to the start of rail services, with 95 days until the 6 September launch.