Yesterday, on Saturday 5th September, I took a train from Waverley to Tweedbank: today you can too, for £11.20: the whole trip from the centre of Edinburgh to Tweedbank in the Borders will take you 57 minutes.
A few months ago I was sitting on a bus and an advert popped up on my tablet: 35 Golden Ticket winners and their guests could win a Golden Ticket and be the first passengers to travel from Edinburgh to the Borders by the new Scottish Borders railway: just say why you want to go, in 50 words or less.
For about five years – I think from when I was about six to sometime before my 12th birthday – my parents rented a cottage in the Borders from the Buccleuch Estates. The rent was £5 a year, and the cottage had running water (which had to be turned off in the autumn, before the first frost led to burst pipes) but the only means of heating the water was to have a fire in the hearth in the living-room.
Steve Montgomery, ScotRail’s managing director, and David Simpson, Network Rail’s route managing director, wrote:
“Thank you for your patience. We are committed to giving more people than ever before the opportunity to travel by rail.”
Unless they’re old. Or have a disability that makes stairs difficult. Or have small children. Or need to travel with heavy luggage.
On 16th April I wrote:
Network Rail want to ban coaches, cars, and taxis from Waverley Station. They’ve come up with a range of excuses why this is a good idea, but I’m pretty certain the real reason is that if they get rid of the taxi rank at the south side of the station, they can have a new row of stalls or shops there. Continue reading
This is what it’s like to move around Waverley Station, right now, in a wheelchair.
On a Saturday in January last year, I slipped on a patch of ice masked by snow. I felt my foot twisting inside my boot in a way it just shouldn’t have been meant to. I landed on thick snow, and that was the last time I walked anywhere without crutches for the next six weeks.