Extra trains to Borders to be run for rugby’s Calcutta Cup

Hawick rugby hero Stuart Hogg at an open training session in Galashiels last Friday ahead of Scotland's Calcutta Cup game against England on Saturday.
Hawick rugby hero Stuart Hogg at an open training session in Galashiels last Friday ahead of Scotland's Calcutta Cup game against England on Saturday.

The Borders’ two MSPs have welcomed ScotRail’s promise to run extra trains on the Borders Railway this Saturday, February 24, for rugby union fans travelling to see Scotland host England in 2018’s Six Nations championship.

One is calling on rail bosses to improve upon their performance last time Edinburgh’s Murrayfield Stadium hosted a Six Nations match, Scotland’s 32-26 victory over France, however.

A train on the Borders Railway at Stow.

A train on the Borders Railway at Stow.

Midlothian South, Tweeddale and Lauderdale MSP Christine Grahame said: “I was really angry and disappointed to hear what happened on Sunday, February 11.

“I had, in good faith, welcomed the news that additional carriages would be put on for the France match, so it was a big let-down to hear from my constituents that this was not the reality on the day.

“I’m pleased to hear ScotRail are putting on extra carriages for this weekend but will be keeping a close eye on it given the fiasco last time.

“I understand some technical issues may be unavoidable, but I really would have thought things could have been double-checked in advance given the publicity and promises to people relying on the service on matchdays.

“The Borders is, after all, the home of rugby, and a fair amount of the team’s travelling fans should be able to rely on our local railway.

“Reliable services are always important, but when there are big events, it becomes critical to keep people moving.

“Here’s hoping both ScotRail and the Scotland squad put up a good performance on Saturday.”

Rachael Hamilton, MSP for Ettrick, Roxburgh and Berwickshire, added: “I am delighted that there will be a half-hourly service most of the day. This is good news for passengers who will be travelling to Edinburgh on Saturday.

“This is the right decision, and I am happy that ScotRail are showing the Border Railway the attention it needs.

“The Calcutta Cup is always a fantastic match, and now Borders fans are sure to arrive not only in style but in comfort too.”

Saturday’s 9.56pm train from Edinburgh’s Waverley station to Tweedbank will be five carriages instead of two, and the 11.54pm service will have four carriages, also instead of two.

Prior to the France game, the 10.45am service from Tweedbank, intended to be made up of five carriages, broke down, forcing it to depart with just two and was full by the time it left Galashiels.