Borders Rail Project is no white elephant - says MSP

Published: 7 Nov 2012 09:300 comments

CONFIRMATION that construction of the long-awaited Borders Railway will start early next year has been hailed as brilliant news for the future prosperity of the region by Midlothian South, Tweeddale and Lauderdale MSP Christine Grahame.

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Commenting after a key meeting in Newtongrange which saw the signing of a project transfer agreement between the Scottish Government and Network Rail, Ms Grahame said: "The return of train services between Edinburgh and the Central Borders after a gap of over 40 years can only be good for the local economy, for our tourist industry and for the environment in one of the most attractive areas of Scotland."

She was particularly pleased that the railway would cut car journeys on the region's roads by about 60,000 peak trips per annum. It was also extremely significant that the Tweedbank terminus would be equipped to deal with tourist trains on a Sunday.

Ms Grahame added: "The announcement by Transport Minister Keith Brown that the capital cost of construction (£294 million at 2012 prices) is £60 million less than initial estimates should send a strong message to the cynics and sceptics who claimed the Borders Railway would prove to be a costly white elephant", commented Ms Grahame.

"Like many others I have campaigned long and hard for this project which will reconnect some parts of my constituency to the national rail network for the first time since 1969. The reintroduction of train services in 2015 will represent a marvellous achievement for all those involved in this crucial infrastructure project."

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