Communities from East Berwickshire in the Scottish Borders were connected by rail for the first time in more than 50 years thanks to TransPennine Express (TPE). The first service took place in May from Edinburgh stopped at the newly constructed Reston Station, marking the first passenger service in the village since 1964. To mark the historic occasion, the first train to call at the new station was named ‘St Abb’s Head’ after the picturesque Scottish National Trust reserve located just a few miles away.
Matthew Golton, Managing Director of TransPennine Express, who was among TPE customers on the first rail journey to Reston, said: “This is a landmark day for Reston – and for TPE – and we’re delighted we’ve been able to work with our partners to help connect communities in the Scottish Borders. Our customers are at the heart of everything we do, and it was fantastic to see so many using our newly named ‘St Abb’s Head’ Nova train this morning. We’re excited to welcome the hundreds of future travellers who have already purchased advanced tickets and look forward to the part TPE will play in providing new leisure and commuting opportunities for the local community.”
Transport Minister, Jenny Gilruth MSP, who travelled on one of the first TransPennine Express services from Edinburgh said: “Thanks to the Scottish Government’s investment of £20 million, rail services are returning to Reston station. I am delighted to be celebrating the re-opening of Reston, connecting another part of the Scottish Borders to Scotland’s rail network. For the first time since 1964 the people of Reston and Berwickshire will have rail connectivity. We know that reconnecting communities to rail isn’t just about transport; it’s opening up employment opportunities, it’s driving investment & it’s creating opportunity for future generations. This investment will change the lives of the people of Reston for the better.”
The new services operate in each direction seven times per day between Edinburgh – Berwick-upon-Tweed (calling at Dunbar and Reston) and five times per day between Edinburgh – Newcastle (calling at Dunbar, Berwick-upon-Tweed, Alnmouth, Morpeth and Reston, with limited calls at Cramlington). Passenger volumes on these services grew by 50 per cent in the past four months as customers took advantage of the new connectivity.