There was always something very odd about the Waverley closure - it came right towards the end of the Beeching cuts, the line was a double track main line running through difficult terrain that experienced severe winter weather. It clearly needed a railway, and surely closure would be abandoned eventually. It made no sense. But the line WAS closed, with huge protests, and the area fell quiet. But only for a few weeks, closed at the start of the winter perhaps it was inevitable that the line would have to be reopened when the first big snows of the winter came and all the roads were blocked!
Soon afterwards a scheme was proposed to reopen the line using a mix of 'real' trains and heritage scheme. Sadly it was decades ahead of its time and withina few years the tracks were lifted and towns like Hawick and Galashiels had to manage without modern transport. As the article below reveals, Hawick suffered enormously from the loss of its railway.
Now the line's coming back, but for now only the top 30 miles. Hawick is STILL without modern transport, but the line will soon be 'just up the road' and pressure to reopen to Hawick will be irresistible. And once Hawick is reached surely the next step will be to reopen south to Carlisle? And the people of Hawick will then have the option to travel to Edinburgh OR Carlisle, or indedd anywhere else they wish to go! But why oh why has it taken over 40 years for people to see sense?
Sound familiar? Of course it does, the Waverley situation is very similar to that of the S&D, though down here things are moving even more slowly. Of course we run through far more heavily populated countryside with many stranded big towns (and indeed a CITY!) en route. But the story is inspiring andf one more nail in the coffin of the 'it'll never happen' brigade!