The Waverley Route was a much loved scenic railway line that ran from Edinburgh to Carlisle via Hawick. Built by the North British Railway Co., it was opened in stages between 1831 and 1862 and traversed some of the most remote landscapes in the British Isles, crossing miles of moorland and high hills. It was also one of the most taxing routes for the crews of the steam locomotives that operated this line – exposed to the elements, with steep climbs to the high points at Falahill and Whitrope Summit.
Following the Beeching Report in the 1960s the line was controversially closed, cutting off most of the Scottish Border towns from the railway network. In 2006, after many years of campaigning, the Scottish Parliament approved the re-opening of a 30 mile section from Edinburgh to Tweedbank, south of Galashiels.
This book opens with a history of the line, illustrated with an outstanding selection of historic photographs, many of which have never before been seen in print. Also included are the Border Branch lines connecting to the Waverley Route.
This is followed by a detailed look at the rebuilding of the line from Newcraighall to Tweedbank culminating in the re-opening by Her Majesty the Queen in September 2015. Well illustrated are both the service trains and steam and diesel specials that followed the opening.
There is also an exploration of the remainder of the Waverley route from Tweedbank to Carlisle where it is hoped the line will once again return in the future.
In the evocative landscape of the route many of the viaducts, bridges, station buildings and smaller remains can still be seen. There is a heritage centre at Whitrope, and some of the route is accessible for walkers.