First of all the cost. The distance from Edinburgh to Tweedbank is roughly the same as Ipswich to Witham. An off peak day return from Ipswich to Witham is £16.10. A return from Edinburgh to Tweedbank is £11.20. I know public transport in Scotland is cheaper than England but for a 55 min journey this is good value and judging by how busy both journeys were is paying dividends.
Journeys are operated by either Class 158 or 170 Dmu's. My vessel for the return trip was 158702, and very nice it was too. Here it is at one of Edinburgh Waverley's hidden platforms - quite possible the Northern Hogwarts Express leaves from Platform 9E!
|158702 bound for Tweedbank|
However we were soon on the new line and to be honest the first half hour is fairly sedate with regular stops. It is only after leaving Gorebridge that the line opens up, the scenery becomes spectacular and the train gets a move on. Scenes such as this are regular.
|One of the numerous rivers the Borders RAilway crosses|
|The expanse of the Scottish Borders|
|158702 at Tweedbank terminus|
|The dry stone ballast walls protecting Borders Railway|
Anyhow I liked the line, and hopefully will spend a day next Summer exploring it, and the places it stops at more.
Of course Edinburgh Waverley station normally throws up a few good photo opportunities and the Saturday morning I was there proved no exception. We begin with an icon still possessing great presence, even if the soundtrack doesn't sound quite right these days.
|Virgin Trains East Coast HST 43314 at Edinburgh Waverley|
|Scotrail 380 107 at Edinburgh Waverley|
|90044 and 67030 at Edinburgh Waverley|
|Two old relics together in Edinburgh|