Kelso council keen to see Borders Railway’s return to town

Kelso must make its voice heard loud and clear if it is to have any hope of bringing a rail line back to the town.

Town councillor Euan Robson in Kelso.
Town councillor Euan Robson in Kelso.

That was the message shared by Kelso councillor Euan Robson at the town’s community council meeting on Tuesday.

“The idea is to get the idea of bringing the railway back to Kelso on the radar screen,” he said. “Then we can think about pushing for a feasibility study, get an idea for what is still there and ask that what is still there be left. It has to be argued stage by stage.”

The committee agreed that with plans to extend the line south via Hawick to Carlisle gaining momentum, they must act soon if Kelso is to considered in any extension.

Simon Walton, chairman of the Campaign for Borders Rail, the group hoping to take the line south, told us this week: “The campaign has given a lot of thought to that.

“Our preferred option in the first instance is to re-establish the main line between Edinburgh, Midlothian, the Borders and Carlisle.

“The reason for that is that of all the lines that we lost in the Borders it is the one that could be most readily reinstated and the one that could prove the best climate for economic regeneration, social inclusion and environmental sustainability.

“The study two year ago by Jacobs did suggest an extension to the east to the main line and out to Carlisle

“It would be an unrealistic ambition for me to say lets open every line, albeit they should never have been closed.

“When the railway closed in 1969 all the web of lines that fed into that closed too, including the line to Kelso.

“The heads and terms of the feasibility study are yet to be decided, but I have no objection to any other groups campaigning to reinstate the line to their community.

“It’s the best catalyst for economic regeneration, social inclusion and environmental sustainability.”

Kelso Community Council agreed to seek advice on where it should start in realising these plans.