Times features Scottish rail campaigns

The Times article shows how the Borders tourism has increased in every category of the Scottish Tourism Economic Assessment Monitor (STEAM) since the trains returned to the region. Comparing the first half of 2016, when the railway was running with that of 2015 when it was not, the Borders was the only mainland Scottish area to show an improvement in all the categories, including an increase of 27% in the number of days spent in B&Bs and hotels, 20% in the amount spent by visitors on food and drink and a 17% increase in that spent on accommodation. Midlothian also showed benefits in increased visitor days in accommodation and spending on food and drink.

‘Its [the Borders line] success is encouraging campaigners in other parts of the country, including St Andrews, to step up efforts to restore routes,’ says the article.

Linking Levenmouth with the Fife Circle is described and then,

‘There is also a campaign to reopen a five-mile section of rail between Leuchars and St Andrews, to create a £71M direct line to the home of golf. Jane Ann Liston, convenor of the StARLink campaign said, ‘The Borders Railway needed 42 new bridges to be built, the refurbishment of 95 others and had to divert the Edinburgh bypass and put it back again. You don’t have any of that with St Andrews. Once the political will is there, the thing will start to move and that is why it’s important we get MSPs on board.’ A cross-party meeting of local MSPs will take place at the end (
actually the beginning - JAL) of next month to discuss the proposals.’

Opening Dunfermline-Alloa to passenger services and the possibility of freight services direct from Dunfermline to Glasgow are also mentioned.

Of course re-opening St Andrews would make it possible to run direct services not just to Edinburgh and Dundee but also to Glasgow, which would surely be a very attractive prospect.

The full text of the
Times piece is at: