Waverley revivalists set to expand at Whitrope

PLANS to expand the heritage line laid on part of the Waverley Route have been submitted to Scottish Borders Council.

Stock at Whitrope Heritage Centre, which has applied to expand its facilities. DAVID SHELL/CREATIVE COMMONS

The Whitrope Heritage Centre, which is based in two railway carriages at Whitrope Sidings, just off the B6399, wants to enhance its railway operation.

The first section of the track was laid in 2005, with the first trains running in 2012 on the 150th anniversary of the original opening of the Waverley Route.

It offers rides to the north and south of the centre under the banner of the Border Union Railway.

Centre officials wants to install a level crossing on a private road running up to the car park at Whitrope while also providing access for forestry vehicles. Wooden gates would allow vehicle access to the car park to be shut off when a train is about to pass.

The centre also wants to install signals donated by Network Rail along the railway at Whitrope sidings, and add a buffet car for visitors. The signals are currently in store at Slitrig.

Officials have also asked for permission to designate two areas of land as work compounds, where shipping containers will stand.

Trains run on Sundays during the summer season, with the first service at 10.30am and others every 40 minutes thereafter.

Following the 2015 reopening as the Borders Railway of the northernmost third of the Waverley Route, which closed in 1969, there have been repeated calls to extend the modern-day line further westwards, potentially to Carlisle.

Read more News in Issue 226 of HR – out now!

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