Lining up an era of opportunity

With the railway’s return to the central Borders only months away, veteran councillor Ron Smith has sounded an upbeat message about the line’s future.

Although the terminus is at Tweedbank, the septuagenarian predicts he will still be around when trains are once again rolling into his beloved Hawick after a gap of well over four decades.

Such positivity is to be welcomed.

Some residing outwith the Galashiels area have questioned the economic benefits the line will bring to the wider Borders. But they should be encouraged – as the councillor is – by news that a feasibility study looking into extending the line south is to be carried out – “a springboard to a new era of connectivity for the whole of our of region”, as he puts it.

It’s time for all Borderers to get on board the railway project and strive to make it work for the whole region. It’s only by accident of geography that Galashiels and its environs are currently enjoying the bulk of benefits accrued from the line’s construction.

Like Councillor Smith, we should take the long-term view and embrace the opportunities this £300million shot in the arm gives us.