Embarrassingly just a few months from its much-trumpeted opening and the ‘train’ is not so much taking the strain as showing it after a ticketing glitch left the first customers shocked when they read that a single fare on the new line to Edinburgh would cost around £30.
It turned out that because the new line is not yet operational, ScotRail’s whizzy computer system was not recognising the new stations and was going on the cost of an existing fare taking passengers from Galashiels to Berwick by bus and then on by train to Edinburgh.
ScotRail moved quickly to clarify that a single ticket to Edinburgh from Galashiels will still be £9.30, with an adult anytime day return ticket £14.90 and a weekly season ticket under £60.
Described as a “fiasco” by local MSP Christine Grahame, it has certainly left rail bosses with egg on their faces.
So yes, it‘s a bit of a PR own goal but let’s keep this in perspective. We’ve waited nearly 50 years for our railway link to be returned to us and considering the mammoth scale of the project with £300million being spent, there have been remarkably few problems.
With a scheme of this size there’s bound to be plenty of other teething difficulties until things bed in. Afterall this is without precedent - the longest stretch of reopened rail line in British history.