Press release 16th June 2016

Borders Railway success – Conference this weekend shares the secrets

The runaway success of the Borders Railway means that people want to find out how it was done. A conference this weekend seeks to share that knowledge, as politicians, railway authors and other industry figures meet in Newtongrange, Midlothian.

“The Borders reopening has exceeded all expectations, so naturally there’s interest from other parts of the country from people wanting to share that success” said Allison Cosgrove, conference organiser from the campaign group Railfuture Scotland. "The whole area is beginning to benefit from this project, with a hugely positive impact on local tourism. We’ll be telling the story from the point of view of campaigners and politicians, as well as looking at the practical challenges of rebuilding the railway."

Speakers include local author David Spaven, the son of a railwayman, who will talk about the history of the Borders Railway closure and the politics of re-opening, and councillor David Parker, leader of Scottish Borders Council, will describe the impact of the opening on the local economy.

“Another guest speaker is Dr Ann Glen who is an author and engineer who has very detailed photographic evidence of the engineering challenges of rebuilding a track that's been partly built on, and where major roads had to be realigned”

The conference is being held at the National Mining Museum Scotland, Newtongrange. “It’s appropriate that we’ve chosen a venue on the reopened line. It’s one of a collection of small towns in a forgotten area of Scotland which have been regenerated and re-invigorated. Railways are now being talked about in Scotland, thanks to the success of the longest rail reopening for a hundred years”

The conference is on Saturday 18 June 2016 at the National Mining Museum Scotland, Newtongrange, Midlothian, just a short walk from Newtongrange station.

For further details about the conference please see www.railfuture.org.uk/conferences.

Notes to editors:

Railfuture is the UK's leading independent organisation campaigning for better rail services for both passengers and freight.

The full list of speakers is:
  • David Spaven, Author (talking about History of the Borders Railway closure and the politics of re-opening)
  • Dr Ann Glen, Author and Lecturer (talking about Rebuilding the Borders Railway - A record of the workings along the line)
  • Cllr David Parker, Leader, Scottish Borders Council (talking about Effect of the railway on the Borders economy)
  • Giles Ingram, Chief Executive, Abbotsford House - home of Sir Walter Scott (talking about Tourism - Has the railway made a difference?)
  • Dr Allen Armstrong, Levenmouth Rail Campaign (talking about Campaigning in Fife)
  • Jane Ann Liston, St Andrews Railway Campaign (talking about Campaigning in Fife)
  • Welcome by Councillor Russell Imrie, chair of South East Scotland Transport Partnership