Posted by: wrha | February 4, 2013

February Progress

Deliveries and Moves at Whitrope

Our new pointwork (see “December Progress”) was delivered to site on Friday 8th, along with another 5 copers for the platform and a load of baseplates and p.way “smalls” for our spring track programme. The HIAB lorry was then used to lift both the LMS wagon from its temporary panel, and the Ruston 48DS shunter from the running line, onto the Stock Siding, a task made doubly difficult by compacted snow and ice on the site. The Ruston is now released from captivity during the operating season and as soon as our new points are in place it’ll become the first locomotive to traverse Whitrope Summit and approach to within sight of the tunnel since the early 70s. On a more mundane but practical level, the railbus and RFO will now fit completely into the platform!!

Lifting copers onto the platform

Lifting copers onto the platform

The wee Ruston safely landed on the Stock Siding, with the LMS wagon behind

The wee Ruston safely landed on the Stock Siding, with the LMS wagon behind

A new view at Whitrope: side by side trains! Fowler on running line to left and Ruston on stock siding to right

A new view at Whitrope: side by side trains! Fowler on running line to left and Ruston on stock siding to right


Northern Rebuild

We’ve now progressed from advanced/ enabling works to the real deal, with outbreaks of Waverley Route reinstatement popping up all over the place on the Millerhill to Tweedbank stretch. Earthworks are in full swing on the all-new formation around Millerhill/ Sheriffhall and on the replacement road links to Heriot and Fountainhall villages (to obviate the need for level crossings), a raft of supporting planning applications have been lodged with the local authorities, works are ongoing at the contractor’s compounds and another round of vegetation removal is underway. For more information, check out:

With the (slightly) better weather and the longer daylight hours, our intrepid newshound and king of the Midlothian airways Geoff Ruderham is on the road again with the family box- brownie, and we present a selection of his progress photos here (Copyright Geoff Ruderham WRHA/CBR)



  1. Awe the joy, we have beat Beechin, at last trains in the Borders again

  2. Well Done Geoff.
    Excellent Photos throughout.
    Fantastic to see the Reinstatment of the Railway coming back to the area.

    • Thanks Pal, more to come as work progresses

  3. Excellent..I can see these updates of progress over the coming next 2 years or so will be closely followed by many Borderers and potential rail passengers from near & far….just like the website showing the re-instatement works for the Welsh Highland Railway a year or two ago.
    Oh that the same was happening on the South West’s most missed railway ..that from Okehampton to Bere Alston (so shortsightedly closed in 1968) on the Southern’s Waterloo to Plymouth main line.

  4. It will be interesting to compare the progress of the reinstatement, using modern machinery, with the time it took the navvies to dig the original route from scratch. From 12,000 miles away it’s a bit puzzling why going to Melrose was a mile too far. Thanks to Geoff for braving the mud (I think I saw a tinge of blue sky in one of the photos).

  5. Is there anywhere we can go to on the www to find the works in hand. The Transport Scotland web site page for the project is nex to useless and the so called ‘news update’ hasn’t been sent out for a very long time?

    • Sorry, can’t comment on the TS web site, but we’ll do our best right here to keep you updated with both news and photos as the project progresses

  6. First there was only ballast with traces of gone track, that changed to mud, trees and bushes (wilderness in parts) and now You can see the railway coming back. Wonderful pictures at all.

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