Council leaders and tourism chiefs have welcomed the news that steam train trips are set to return to the Borders Railway this autumn.
Tickets have gone on sale for the much-anticipated return of ScotRail steam services, beginning on Sunday, August 7.
Following the success of last year’s sell-out trips, on Sundays during August and September, passengers have the chance to travel from Edinburgh Waverley to Tweedbank and back, in the comfort of a beautifully refurbished vintage carriage.
August’s trips will be hauled by 46100 Royal Scot, and September’s will see the return of the popular 60009 Union of South Africa on the Borders Railway.
The trips are scheduled to run until September 25.
ScotRail has also partnered with local companies to offer add-on passenger excursions upon arrival in Tweedbank, in partnership with Abbotsford House, Selkirk Means Business, Seasons Resturant in Melrose, Rabbies and Telford Coaches.
Cathy Craig, Commercial Director for the ScotRail Alliance, said: “It is with great pleasure that we’re announcing the return of steam services to the Borders Railway.
“Not many train journeys can match the outstanding scenery on this route, and I look forward to seeing how successful these trips will be.”
David Parker, leader of Scottish Borders Council, said: “I am delighted to see the return of the steam train trips to the Borders Railway.
“The trips were extremely successful last year with thousands of people visiting the Borders thanks to the journeys. I am pleased a number of local companies will be involved in 2016 to build on this success.”
Cabinet Secretary for Tourism, Fiona Hyslop added: “It’s fantastic that 2016 will see the return of these iconic trains to the Scottish Borders Railway. After their sell out season last year the opportunity to visit Abbotsford and other attractions in the area shows the prospects for different sectors to work together to grow the tourism economy of the Scottish Borders.”
Danny Cusick, chair of the Borders Railway Blueprint Leaders Group, said: “Following a hugely successful inaugural steam train experience last year, we are delighted that this year will see an even better and enhanced steam train experience for the Borders Railway.
“World-famous steam trains will allow passengers to see one of the world’s most beautiful and scenic railway routes in classic style.”
For details on ScotRail’s steam services, visit www.scotrail.co.uk/steam-trains.