We are delighted to announce that Tornado will be hauling one of the first trains on Britain's newest railway on Sunday 13th September 2015.
The near fifty year wait for train services to be reinstated in the Borders came to an end on Saturday 5th September when the first rail services began running between Edinburgh and Tweedbank. The Borders Railway is the longest new domestic railway line to be built in the UK for over a century and runs between Edinburgh and Tweedbank. Completed on-time and on-budget, it is expected to carry almost 650,000 passengers a year and will deliver new jobs and new opportunities for economic growth across Midlothian and the Borders. The £294m line consists of seven new stations joined together by thirty miles of new track. At its peak over 1,100 people were working on the project, refurbishing or building 137 bridges, laying over 1000 rails across almost 100,000 sleepers. Her Majesty the Queen officially opened the line on Wednesday 9th September – the same day as her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II became the longest serving monarch of the United Kingdom. The Royal Train was hauled by A4 No. 60009 Union of South Africa with Tornado on standby if needed.
During her last turn with Scotrail, Tornado hauls 'The Border Reivers' at Wandel - Henry Elliott
Following the success of the Inverness and Carlisle steam hauled specials in June with Tornado, ScotRail is offering passengers the chance to travel on the brand new line from Edinburgh Waverley to Tweedbank and back, all in the comfort of a beautifully refurbished vintage carriage. ScotRail's steam train journeys are offered in partnership with Steam Dreams, and will be available every Wednesday, Thursday and Sunday from 10th September for six weeks. Tickets will be priced at £75 for first class tickets, £40 for standard class, and £20 for a standard class child's ticket (under 16). A family ticket (two adults and two children, standard class) is priced at £100. All tickets include train travel on ScotRail services to get to and from the steam train on the same day. Tickets for the steam journeys – and to book a visit to Abbotsford House and Melrose Abbey - can be purchased by calling Steam Dreams on 01483 209888.
Mark Allatt, chairman, The A1 Steam Locomotive Trust, commented, "Who would have thought that in 2015 we would see a new steam locomotive of a type first extinct almost 50 years ago travelling on part of the re-opened Waverley Route closed in 1969? This is a fabulous opportunity to travel on the country's newest railway line in a train hauled by Britain's newest main line steam locomotive.
"It's fantastic to see steam hauled trains in operation on ScotRail, allowing so many people the opportunity to appreciate Scotland's countryside and railways. The long-awaited return of steam to the Borders Railway will be a real jewel in the crown both for Scotland's tourism and rail industries. There can be few railway journeys which match the outstanding scenery on this new route and steam services running on the reopened Borders Railway really will recapture the golden age of Scottish rail travel."
For more information on ScotRail's steam services, please visit the Scotrail website.