Talks ongoing over design of train station

An artist's impression of the Tweedbank railway station
An artist's impression of the Tweedbank railway station

Details of the design of the railway station at Tweedbank have been revealed in a planning application to the council, submitted by Network Rail.

However, planning officers are still in discussions with Network Rail over the design of the train operating company depot, which will be the only building at the site and which will have no public facilities.

A spokesman for Network Rail told The Southern: “The design brief has never featured public facilities at Tweedbank.

“This is the same as every other station along the route. All trains will include toilets on board.”

He added that there is room for a ‘kiosk’ at the station. A ‘plaza’ area, including landscaping, will be created at the station, which includes significant car parking and a bus drop-off point.

These will not be subject to a planning application, but council staff are in discussions over the final look of these areas too.

Tweedbank councillor David Parker said: “It is quite common for a station of the size of Tweedbank not to have toilets. It is really a park-and-ride station.”

He said the landscaped plaza area would be a “very nice feature.”

Mr Parker added: “Officers are still having discussions regarding the look and nature of the building, and there have been some changes made to the look of it. We’re trying to get the best design for the building, rather than the industrial look.”

However, fellow Leaderdale and Melrose councillor Iain Gillespie has called for a rethink.

“I believe there should be adequate public facilities at the station. It is not just a drop-off point, it is a terminus.”

He added: “I would like to see a nice facility there, possibly including toilets and a cafe, things like that. It certainly needs to be better thought out.”

Additional funds have been contributed by the council to ensure a higher quality of stations in the Borders.

Network Rail has rejected calls for the depot building, which will be used by train staff, to be resited to provide a ‘greater sense of arrival’.

The firm has cited staff safety, easy access to the trains and greater security for situating the building in its proposed location.