PLANS are on track to restore a historic railway building in Peebles which will house the rich history of trains that steamed through the town from 1855.

After several months of negotiations, Scottish Borders Council has handed over the keys to the old weighbridge office located in East Station car park.

Chuffed to receive the keys to unlock the tales of the railway, which made its final stop in 1962, were members of the Peebles Railway Heritage Group.

They have been given the green light for a 25 year lease, and are chugging along with ambitious plans to secure funding to create a museum, which will house artefacts and photographs.

But the engine-ious plan to honour Peebles’ historic railway isn’t the only train of thought exercising the minds of these trainspotters.

Following the closure of the Tourist Information Centre on Peebles High Street, members of the group hope to include information for visitors to the town.

The Peebles Railway Heritage Group, which has been formed by members of the Peebles Community Trust, seeks to refurbish the building and bring it back into community use.

Chairman of Peebles Community Council Les Turnbull, told the Peeblesshire News: “The group officially took over the tenancy on the first of March for a peppercorn rent and received the keys officially from leader of the council, Shona Haslam.

“One of the main priorities is to obtain funding to secure and repair the exterior of the building; as a listed building and standing in the conservation area, the group seeks to return it to its original state to preserve its unique status as the only original railway building in this area.”

Though not widely known, Peebles had three railway stations at one time and indeed owes much of its development to the part railways played in bringing visitors to the town as well as the transport of goods and materials.

It is this story that the PRHG wants to capture for posterity and share with residents and visitors.

Mr Turnbull continued: “Having lost our tourist information office there is also a gap in the provision of information for visitors.

"Because this office sits in what is considered to be the main car park for the town there is an opportunity to use the facility to provide much needed information on local attractions and activities.”

The PRHG intend seeking funds to refurbish the interior of the building to make it a modern and attractive place to visit using modern techniques such as video and computer technology to bring the building back to life.

“This a unique project to protect and preserve an iconic building that is deteriorating,” said Mr Turnbull.

“I am optimistic that we can raise the funds to make this building a valuable educational tool for our young people, and others, who have no knowledge of our railway heritage. It will also benefit the economic wellbeing of the town if we can fill some of the gap left by the closure of our tourist information office.”