Campaigners welcome later Northumberland train service from Edinburgh

A Berwick councillor and rail campaigner has welcomed the news that there will be a later train service back from Edinburgh on weekdays, starting next Monday.

Tuesday, 10th December 2019, 2:24 pm
Berwick Railway Station

Currently, the last train from Edinburgh to Berwick is at 9pm, from Monday to Thursday, with a later service only running on a Friday, while the last train on Saturdays is at 7pm.

But the new TransPennine Express service, which is being launched on Monday, December 16, at Morpeth, will mean that there is an additional early service from Morpeth to Berwick at 6.08am and a train back from Edinburgh at 10.15pm on weekdays.

Coun Georgina Hill, the independent county councillor for Berwick East, has been campaigning on this issue for some time and set up a petition – https://you.38degrees.org.uk/petitions/later-trains-to-berwick-upon-tweed – which now has more than 2,400 signatures.

“The fact that the last train from Edinburgh to Berwick will now be at 10.15pm throughout the week marks significant progress,” Coun Hill said. “This extra hour-and-a-quarter will make a big difference to commuters, visitors and our residents travelling back from trips.

“There is more, of course, still to achieve. We need later trains during the weekend too and from the south and ideally even later than 10.15pm.

“Not to mention other improvements and an end to the national problem of the rip-off rail fares and the particularly poor deal which regular commuters get.”

Northumberland County Council and Northern have funded a feasibility study with the rail campaign group, SENRUG (South East Northumberland Rail Users Group), for a local service between Berwick and Morpeth, which could pave the way for additional services. This study is expected to be completed by the end of January.

Meanwhile, the group RAGES (Rail Action Group, East of Scotland) is campaigning for the reopening of East Linton and Reston stations and a local service between Edinburgh and Berwick.

Coun Hill said: “I and colleagues on the Berwick Regeneration Commission will continue to work closely with the excellent campaign groups RAGES and SENRUG to maximise our rail links and connectivity, which will have significant benefits for the town.”