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Summary

  1. Borders to Edinburgh railway track laying complete
  2. Updates for Thursday 12 February
  3. More news, sport, travel and weather from 09:00 on Friday 13 February

Live Reporting

By Nichola Rutherford and Giancarlo Rinaldi

All times stated are UK

Get involved

Giancarlo Rinaldi

South Scotland reporter, BBC Scotland news website

If you've stayed with us today, hope we've captured a hectic news day across the south of Scotland for you.

Back tomorrow from 9am but, in the meantime, email your stories, pictures and thoughts on this service to dumfries@bbc.co.uk or selkirk.news@bbc.co.uk.

No catching McCoy

AP McCoy grabbed an expected win at Kelso racecourse this afternoon aboard Cheltenham Gold Cup fancy Holywell.

The champion jockey, who is retiring at the end of the season, won at odds of 1/4.

End of the line?

It's been an historic day in Tweedbank as the final piece of track for the Borders Railway was laid.

Rail video
BBC

BBC Scotland reporter Cameron Buttle has been there to witness the events. Watch his report

here.

Thick cloud tonight

BBC Scotland Weather

Latest

Thick cloud holds on across the south of Scotland this evening and overnight but winds from the south and will be strong around the west coast, for the Rhins of Galloway and along the Solway coast at times too.

A mild night, with lows of 5C, and the cloud thick enough to produce some light spots of rain.

Bulletin time

Tune in again at 16:30 and 17:30 for our local radio bulletins from Dumfries and Selkirk.

Get involved

Email selkirk.news@bbc.co.uk

Rob Mason emails: In general I am very pleased to see that it is progressing as well as was planned, indeed it was one of the reasons why we chose our new home (near the new Eskbank Station).

I look forward to it opening and can only hope that it has been designed with enough spare capacity. I say this as I have seen a large number of housing developments springing up along the route (if you build it, they will come...). These developments will add to the expected number of passengers and I hope this has been taken into account so that the railway does not become a victim of it's own success.

Owl tweet

@scotborders

Scottish Borders Council

tweets: Emma & Gleb had an owl deliver both rings for their Peebles wedding conducted by our registrar scotborders.gov.uk/registrars

Owl delivers rings to wedding
Scottish Borders Council

Borders Railway debate

Email selkirk.news@bbc.co.uk

WL Barrie emails: As someone who lives in the borders and travels to Edinburgh several times a week I know of nobody except politicians who thinks the railway is money well spent, there is nothing at Tweedbank to attract tourists.

The journey, by the time I get to Tweedbank and then into the centre of Edinburgh is more than double that by car, and you cannot live in the borders without a car so I'll still be paying road tax, mot and insurance and goodness knows what the fares will be like.

Carrots for McCoy

@Racing_UK

Racing UK

tweets: Jockey @AP_McCoy was part of the famous carrot presentation at @KelsoRacecourse earlier this afternoon. #CatchAPMcCoy

AP McCoy and carrots
Racing UK

Get in touch - Borders Railway

Email selkirk.news@bbc.co.uk

Brian Hill emails: Any form of better communication can only be good for the area it serves - the Borders and the country as a whole - Scotland, a country which has been badly run down for decades by successive Labour and Tory UK Governments.

Lately, Labour in Holyrood have been lamentable in terms improving Scotland's infrastructure - which explains SNP success since 2007. Like many of us on this route, I will take frequent trips down into this beautiful part of the country. An excellent move for everyone.

David Brotchie emails: I don't often agree with MPs. However, Michael Moore is correct in his assessment of this rail line. I have no doubt that the economy of the Scottish Borders will be transformed for the good and there will be a significant improvement in local job prospects. You only have to look at the new housing developments along the route to see this already taking place.

Traffic Scotland

Latest

tweets: UPDATE on #A74(M) closure N/B @ J21 - traffic queuing back approx. half a mile from start of diversion route #BeAware #PlanAhead

Balmaclellan blaze

Firefighters have been called out to tackle a

blaze involving a lorry on the A712 near Balmaclellan in Dumfries and Galloway.

Fire engine
SFRS

Scottish Fire and Rescue Service crews were sent to the scene at 11:15.

Nearby homes were evacuated as a precautionary measure. There are no reports of any injuries.

Borders Railway - Your views

Email selkirk.news@bbc.co.uk

Geoff Slater emails: In my view a far better use of £294M than some of the other potential expenditures for such an amount, e.g. one F-22 fighter aircraft. It is also comparatively cheap when compared to the reported (escalating) costs for HS2. Surely the way to go for more regional railway links, recouping (at last) the losses incurred as a result of Beeching.

Learning support cuts

A fresh call is being made to Scotland's Children's Commissioner to investigate planned cuts to learning support staff in Dumfries and Galloway.

Children in classroom
Thinkstock

A parents' campaign group has written to Tam Ballie expressing its on-going concerns about the proposed loss of 52 posts.

Education convenor Geoff Leaver re-iterated that the council would be happy to discuss the restructuring plans directly with the Children's Commissioner.

He said the council's consultation on the review had involved more than 40 meetings, many of them attended by youngsters with additional support requirements.

Get in touch

Email selkirk.news@bbc.co.uk

Rab T emails: Not as costly as the £800 million for 5 miles of Glasgow motorway in 2008.

Paul Higbee emails: I am bowled over that somewhere in the UK has a new rail service coming on line. It is fantastic news and just shows the imbalance of Scotland getting £1,600 for every £1 we get in England for such infrastructure. I wish the new line every success and long lived use by the local population and traders.

Hugh G. Campbell emails: Great news for the Borders. Now for the connection to Carlisle.

Curler champion

Galloway Gazette

tweets: Wigtown curler Christine Cannon out-gunned her opposition 14-0 in the 2nd round of the Scottish Seniors at Hamilton Ice Rink in just 6 ends.

M74 due to reopen

The M74 at Kirkpatrick Flemming should reopen by 3pm, according to police.

Police accident sign
BBC

The northbound carriageway has been closed since about 04:00, when a lorry overturned at junction 21.

A 68-year-old

man who was driving the vehicle is in a serious condition in Dumfries and Galloway Royal Infirmary.

Inspector Darren Faulds of the road policing department said: "The significant recovery operation is ongoing and officers have been working since the crash occurred this morning with other agencies, including Transport Scotland and the recovery company to turn the lorry.

"Work is now continuing to secure its heavy load to ensure that we avoid the damaged refrigerated container splitting open and its contents spilling out."

Get invovled

Email selkirk.news@bbc.co.uk

R Dickson emails: This railway must be the biggest white elephant that the Scottish borders council have been involved in. There will be a large number of passengers for the 1st 6 months then very few. The bill every year for subsidy will be huge. Nobody from the eastern borders will travel to tweedbank to spend 55 minutes going to edinburgh when from berwick it is 40 minutes.

Holiday development

Detailed plans for a holiday development near Jedburgh have been unveiled.

Businessman Javid Ashraf already has planning permission in principle for the 15 chalets at Glen Douglas.

Mr Ashraf has submitted a three-phase schedule for developing the site to Scottish Borders Council this week.

Get involved

Email selkirk.news@bbc.co.uk

Duncan emails: This project is a hugely welcome infrastructure development and should bring major benefits for the borders. But why is it not double track for its entire length? This could place major restrictions on what it can be used for, especially during the summer months. And it's totally ridiculous opening a new railway powered by diesel trains at this stage. Why on earth is not electric from day one? But the journey time at 55 minutes seems a bit long—a slow train indeed.

Lord Steel interview

Liberal leader David Steel - now Lord Steel - campaigned against the Beeching cuts in 1969, which left the Scottish Borders without a major rail link.

Lord Steel
BBC

Ahead of the final piece of track of being laid this morning, he was interviewed on BBC Radio 4's Today programme. Listen to it

here.

Traffic Scotland

Latest

tweets: #A74(M) N/B at J21-Broken down car in the congestion, unsure of lane but please #BeAware in the area. Div route approx 30-60 min travel time

@BordersRailway

Borders Railway

tweets: This morning @KeithBrownMSP secured the last rail using a golden clip #tracklaying

Montage of pictures
Borders Railway

Get in touch

Email selkirk.news@bbc.co.uk

Anonymous emails: I absolutely agree with Mr Bennett, but he is fortunate to live within 8 miles of a station on the new line - I live in DUNS which is 25 miles from Tweedbank. Not too bad if you drive a car but bus connection is 1-2 hours!

What a waste of taxpayer's money - the railway is a white elephant which will never ever be profitable - cost so far ? £300 million. Think how many school books and care homes for the elderly this could buy....................

Threave crash out

Threave Rovers crashed out of the South of Scotland's Premier Trophy last night in a 1-0 defeat to Newton Stewart.

Football
Thinkstock

It was the fourth attempt to play the second round Southern Counties Cup tie which was called off twice at Blairmount Park and then last Wednesday at Meadow Park, all because of weather conditions.

The vital goal came from Calum Dunn who has just signed for Newton.

The South of Scotland side will now play Wigtown in the third round on 21 February.

Get involved

Email selkirk.news@bbc.co.uk

Mrs M Brown emails: What a fantastic achievement worth every penny, and what a time scale, fantastic!!.

We need you here for the route between Aberystwyth and Carmarthen in Wales, they have been talking about it and now it is gaining momentum, the drive is horrendous on a small winding road and can take well over an hour and a half.

Alan King emails: Well worth the investment for the Borders and the country as a whole. Brilliant!

(Agree with Michael Moore? - that's another question altogether!)

Catch McCoy

@KelsoRacecourse

Kelso Racecourse

tweets: Don't miss out today to come and #CatchAPMcCoy !

Catch McCoy
Kelso Racecourse

'Little change'

BBC Scotland Weather

Latest

There is very little change taking place in the Borders today. It will remain largely dry with sunny spells. Cloud will increase in the west with a few light showers. Temperatures will reach around 7 celsius with light southwesterly winds.

The dry weather will also continue in the west of the region, give or take the odd passing shower over Galloway, mainly on the hills. There will be a fair amount of cloud, although a little brightness coming through. Temperatures will reach around 6 celsius at best with a light southwesterly breeze.

Budgets approved

Richard Gordon

BBC Radio Scotland, Selkirk

Scottish Borders Council's capital and revenue budgets have been approved.

A712 fire latest

BBC Scotland Travel

Latest

#A712 Crocketford to New Galloway road is closed Balmaclellan. There's a lorry on fire here. Police directing traffic - delays both ways.

'A very good thing'

Email selkirk.news@bbc.co.uk

Peter Thompson emails: This reopened line is another very good thing for Scotland and for this region. The money is well spent and follows other very good rail expansion and improvement policies implemented by the Scottish Government. It will enhance the Borders area ability to grow and expand its business and commercial objectives and create jobs. It's a great pity we don't have the same level of reasoned governance in England as they do in Scotland.

Ian Henderson emails: The new opening of the old Waverley line has been long overdue. Personally living on the east coast I will be unable to use it. However when they reopen the Berwick line in 2016 the Borders will be accessible again to all and not left behind by both governments. On a side note I believe £33million is underselling the route.

Bulletin time

All the latest on the Borders Railway and a serious crash in Dumfries and Galloway coming up on our local radio bulletins.

Radio desk
Thinkstock

Tune in at 12:30 to hear all the news, sport, travel and weather from our region.

A712 closed by lorry fire

Traffic Scotland

Latest

#A712 is *closed* due to a HGV on fire. Police are at the scene so please AVOID the area. #DriveSafe #BeAware

Motorway crash latest

BBC Scotland Travel

Latest

Dumfries - the A74(M) remains closed northbound between J21 Kirkpatrick Fleming and J20 Eaglesfield for accident investigation work - it's been closed all morning and the queues are back to Gretna.

Police are diverting traffic onto the B7076 - but of course this route also very congested so adding time to your journey.

Borders Railway - get involved

Email selkirk.news@bbc.co.uk

Ian Reed emails: Delighted to see money being spent on infrastructure for the many rather than handouts for the few.

Alan Paton emails: I'm delighted to see the Borders railway nearing completion. What I cannot understand however is that in the 21st century we still cannot provide a rail service that is barely quicker than cycling pace.

At the most it should take 30 minutes to travel the 30miles between Tweedbank and Edinburgh. Trundling along at a Victorian pace seems like a backward step to me.

Final piece in place

Cameron Buttle

BBC Scotland

Capturing the last preparations to put the final piece of track in place on the Borders Railway.

Borders Railway
BBC

The Southern Reporter

The Southern Reporter's front page leads with a story about a student who admitted to having 50,000 indecent images of children.

Southern Reporter
Southern Reporter

Get in touch

Tweet @BBCSouthScot

@samcdonald2

tweets: Divide the cost by the years it will be in use by the amount of people using, The new railway line is worth every penny.

'Looks fantastic'

Facebook

The Border Telegraph

posts: The train now arriving at Tweedbank is half an hour late! But looks fantastic!

Tweedbank railway
Border Telegraph