This was the majestic scene during the early 1930s as an A3 Pacific 4-6-2 steam engine pulled into Galashiels station from Edinburgh, hauling a number of passenger carriages bound presumably for Carlisle and likely onwards to London.
The steam engine Captain Cuttle is pictured passing the still-existing Abbotsford Hotel and behind it the long-gone Brownlee’s Garage. Peaking over the roof of the garage is the Gala-Selkirk train, known affectionately as the Coffee Pot. Once the south-bound express had gone through, the Coffee Pot would pull onto the line to begin it’s short journey to Selkirk, branching off the Waverley Line at Netherdale and hugging the River Tweed to the foot of the Ettrick.
The Selkirk branch line closed to passenger traffic in September 1951 and the last freight train ran in 1964.
Branch lines from Galashiels to Lauder lost passenger services in 1932 after just 31 years of service and the line to Peebles closed in 1962. The Waverley Route itself was axed in January 1969. A controversial rebirth of the line between Edinburgh Waverley and Tweedbank is expected to become operational in 2014. Stops in the Borders are at Stow, Galashiels and Tweedbank.
– compiled by Bob Burgess