As my work took me to Norham yesterday, I stopped off at Tweedmouth on the way and had a useful meeting with Dave McClymont, who drove me along the alignment of the old Tweed Valley Railway from the Berwick Garden Centre off the A1 at East Ord to where it joins the ECML. The alignment is fully in tact as it skirts past the Garden Centre and through the industrial estate, joining the East Coast Main Line at the A1167 road bridge. The hope is that the full route, from Tweedback through Melrose and Cornhill can be re-opened, revitalising the local economies both sides of the border as well as providing a diversionary route to Edinburgh when the ECML is closed.
However joining the line to the ECML with a viable interchange station was more challenging: there were several alternatives, none perfect, but all credible. The issue seems to be the road-bridge across the A1167 at Tweedmouth only ever had 3 tracks and is not wide enough to take 4, thus prohibits double track connection of Tweed Valley route onto ECML. However south of the road bridge there is plenty of space for a new station, with loops already in place on the east side, and much of the land in Council ownership.
Travelling on to Norham, I passed the in tact alignment at several places. My thanks to Dave for giving up his time, and SENRUG certainly intends to keep in close contact with the newly formed Tweed Valley Re-opening Campaign Group, and we wish them every success. The plan to re-open Tweedbank to Tweedmouth is in addition to the Borders Rail campaign to extend south to Carlisle. This is not an either or.