If you build it, they will come.

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Twenty-five years ago; if you had told me that in the 21st Century I’d be riding down the re-born Waverley Route behind a Peppercorn A1 Class locomotive I would have asked you what you’d just dropped.
Man…

On Sunday the 13th September 2015, though no illicit chemistry of any sort was involved, that’s exactly what I did.

In just a few short but unforgettable hours all those marvellous images and anecdotes that admirers of the famous line rever; the tales of majestic vistas and sweeping curves, the old DMU cab ride film. All pulled into perspective and brought back into glorious, kicking, screaming life.
An uncommonly wonderful railway returned from oblivion, traversed by a member of a locomotive class back from the lost ranks of the extinct. A historical wrong in part(for now)righted.

Even the service trains observed today were full; station platforms crowded,
bridges full of photographers and curious well-wishers dotting the line-side of the Lothian uplands and the Gala Valley to witness a sight not seen here for half a century.

Tonight I’m hugely proud of my wee country because WE made this happen; from the grass roots lobbyists of the CBR and the WRHA who kept the flame and kept the dream alive to a forward looking and sympathetic government who trusted those who believed in the potential of this largest stretch of line to be built in Scotland or the UK for a century. To the engineers, technicians and labourers who grafted in all weathers and hours of the day to being the project to fruition.
True, mistakes were made along the way but today, the people of the Borders have a fast, modern link with the outside world and if what I witnessed today is any indicator the future is bright.

This evening, with the events of the day in mind, I walked Abi along the old trackbed from Brunthill to Parkside.
Even if trains return to the entire route in the future as far as Carlisle, developments since the 1970s have ensured that trains will never run this way again, but away to the north, the Phoenix of the Waverley has again risen and in that knowledge, the old section, quiet, leafy and tranquil can finally rest in peace.

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Sometimes, the wildest dreams really, really do come true!

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Sailing on the hole in the heart

Politics again folks but I felt compelled to share Paul’s excellent piece today as it encapsulates perfectly my disgust at the malice and reprehensible conduct of the British media not only to my country but to the family of Charles Kennedy at one of the darkest times in their lives.
Please avoid buying their disgusting hate rag or using their website.
Thank you.

Sailing on the hole in the heart.

Captain’s Log, Stardate; WTF?

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As someone who’s been following Scottish politics since the great independence debate took off in 2011-12, I’m pretty used to ill-informed, bat-shit craziness by now but I have to say that this post, spotted on a well-known UK model railway forum by an ‘alert follower’ 😉 still made me rather astonished in a Jo-La sort of way and it kind of proves that the UK media’s propaganda onslaught is having effects outside the expected sphere. Either that or Alan Cochrane’s taken up railway modelling!
Anyway the 5:15 to UKIP-land’s running a bit late so best take your meds now, old chap!