The Scottish area meeting of the Heritage Railway Association, was held over the weekend of 5th and 6th March. The meeting was held in the Scottish Borders to celebrate the opening of the new Borders Railway.
On the Saturday the members (who represent most of the heritage railways in Scotland) paid a visit to Whitrope. In typical fashion for this time of year at Whitrope the weather was cold with a nice dusting of snow on the ground. The party had a trip up and down the line in RB004 and a look around the exhibition coach. Being out of season we were only able to offer a limited amount of our usual fare. The general comment was that they were very impressed with the achievements in developing the site, but that it was rather chilly!
The afternoon was spent in Hawick at the Heart of Hawick in a meeting with a range of guest speakers from heritage railways and the ‘big’ railway.
The Sunday involved a trip south of the Border to visit another ‘new’ heritage railway, the Aln Valley. A number of WRHA members took advantage of the trip to visit one of our near neighbours. The visit included a good tour around the site to see what they have so far achieved and their plans for the future. The site has a nice engine shed with associated machine shop (envious!). There were then some brake van trips in the afternoon.
These events are beneficial to the railway as they allow us to meet and discuss topics with heritage railways from across the spectrum within Scotland.