A winter’s day; in a deep and dark December…

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I’m giving Abi her morning walk right now and I thought I’d take a photo of this stretch of line; more of symbolic than actual importance these days.
Whilst all the attention is now rightly focused on the head of steel snaking back South towards Tweedbank and probably Hawick in the future, once the ‘Aye beens’ awake from their torpor; this short stretch of line was for four long decades the caretaker of the Waverley Route’s memory. Since 1970, the Brunthill Spur as it’s known has been operated as a long siding from Kingmoor Yard utilising the remnants of the old down Waverley.
Originally, after January 1969 the up line existed as far as Longtown to service the ordnance depot as well as the RAF maintenance unit at Brunthill but once the single line section that branched off from Longtown and connected with the Caley main line at Mossband was rigged for bi-directional working, the line was cut back to Brunthill. This was done largely avoid construction of an expensive bridge to carry the then new dual carriageway A74 over the line. Some suggest that it was indeed a factor in the genuine enthusiasm for the Waverley’s closure in high places. Nevertheless, the Brunthill line survived even the closure of the RAF base and continues to serve a freight terminal on the edge of Carlisle’s largest industrial estate and still receives regular trainloads of bulk cement for Lafarge.
I think it deserves some recognition for its tenacity and even though there will never be a main line through here again, this entry was inspired by viewing the above scene and imagining the passage of a pair of Border Union Clayton diesels on a Carlisle bound drag of timber wagons in an alternate 1975. 😊

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