Steam trains to return to the Borders Railway in August

ScotRail is to run steam trains on the Borders Railway on Sundays in August and September, the train operator confirmed today.

The Flying Scotsman steam train travels down the recently opened Waverley Line in the Borders. Picture: Phil Wilkinson
The Flying Scotsman steam train travels down the recently opened Waverley Line in the Borders. Picture: Phil Wilkinson

The move, which will seek to capitalise on the vast visitor influx during the Edinburgh Festival, comes a month after The Scotsman’s revealed the plans.

Thousands of people also lined the route in May to see the steam locomotive Flying Scotsman make a special trip as part of its historic return to Scotland after a major refit.

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The locomotive 46100 Royal Scot will haul the excursions in August and 60009 Union of South Africa - which operated last autumn’s trips on the line - will run the trains in September.

The Engine room of the Union of South Africa which recently ran along the Borders railway. Piture: JP

Return tickets between Edinburgh and Tweedbank are £55, or £130 for “premier dining”, or £150 for first class.

Passengers will travel on vintage carriages owned by the Bo’ness-based Scottish Railway Preservation Society.

The trips have been confined to Sundays - between 7 August and 25 September - to avoid the need to cancel regular ScotRail services because the line is largely single track. Fewer trains run on Sundays.

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The Engine room of the Union of South Africa which recently ran along the Borders railway. Piture: JP

Last year’s sell-out trips included steam trains also running on Thursdays, which disrupted other passengers.

ScotRail commercial director Cathy Craig said: “This is a fabulous opportunity to showcase the line, and in such a romantic style.

“I look forward to seeing how successful these trips will be.”

Scottish Borders Council leader David Parker said: “The trips were extremely successful last year, with thousands of people visiting the Borders thanks to the journeys.”