A journey not to be missed

Tourism has many facets and a successful one is the scenic Settle-Carlisle rail journey which brings visitors in large numbers to that area.

I have taken this trip and must confess that I was slightly disappointed. It is possible that having become used to the surrounding views in the Borders, I was expecting too much. I have also taken the Glasgow-Mallaig rail journey and while the scenery was undoubtedly spectacular, a lot of the views were obscured by trees growing on the side of the line.

The recent good weather tempted my wife and I to take a run in the car. We took the old stage road which runs almost parallel to the A7 and affords excellent views of the under-construction Edinburgh-Tweedbank line.

The benefits, or otherwise, that the new line will bring have been open to countless discussions during the past few years in these columns and the outcome has yet to be decided. But one outcome that is undeniable is that this is going to be a jewel of a journey.

Can you imagine if the line had linked up with Carlisle-Settle and even further on to Leeds? It would have ranked even higher on the list of rail journeys not to be missed.

Jim Gibson

Bleachfield Road


Further to the article entitled “Contract designed to take rail’s return another step down the line” (Southern, March 29), it would appear that Tory MSP John Lamont must be in despair that another significant step forward for the Borders rail link has gone ahead.

Even Conservative members of Scottish Borders Council are now in favour of the railway coming to the central Borders.

I noted in the report that Mr Lamont is quoted as saying: “The reality is that the Borders railway will go to Galashiels” – however, as people are well aware, the Borders railway will come to Tweedbank.

I attended the last full council meeting and the railway was seen as positive for this region, so much so that the Borders Party now want the line to go to Carlisle. I wonder what the Borders Party manifesto will be now after this extraordinary U-turn?

Jim Torrance

(SNP candidate for Leaderdale and Melrose)