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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

  1. Post update

    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.

  2. 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.

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

  4. 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.

  5. Bulletin time

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

  6. 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.

  7. 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
  8. 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.

  9. 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
  10. 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.

  11. Post update

    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

  12. 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

    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.

  13. 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.

  14. 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

    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.

  15. 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.

  16. 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.

  17. M74 due to reopen

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

    Police accident sign

    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."

  18. 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.

  19. 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.

  20. 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.

  21. 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

    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.

  22. Post update

    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

  23. Post update

    @BordersRailway

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

    Montage of pictures
  24. 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....................

  25. 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

    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.

  26. 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!)

  27. Catch McCoy

    @KelsoRacecourse

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

    Catch McCoy
  28. '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.

  29. Budgets approved

    Richard Gordon

    BBC Radio Scotland, Selkirk

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

  30. 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.

  31. '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.

  32. 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

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

  33. 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

  34. 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.

  35. 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.

  36. 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
  37. 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
  38. 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.

  39. 'Looks fantastic'

    Facebook

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

    Tweedbank railway
  40. Get involved

    Email selkirk.news@bbc.co.uk

    Steve emails: Great news that the railway is back. Just replacing what Beeching stole from the communities of this area. People will have the option of leaving the car to travel and better for people without a car. More track is required back in other places like Fraserburgh, again sadly without a rail link.

    Ross Clark emails: The rail link into the borders is long over due. The benefits of this will be one apparent early on. This may also provide the justification to extend onward to Carlisle. The people who live on the route now no longer have to use either their own car or bus service to get into Edinburgh.

    It is a real shame the line didn't go into Melrose in the first instance as I'm sure the road traffic heading down for the Melrose sevens would be a lot less and would also contribute towards line line paying itself back. Roll on September 6th and the line being being well used by borders community and tourists.

  41. Back page

    The back page of the Galloway News reports on the Dalbeattie's 5-1 loss to Gala.

    Galloway News
  42. Get involved

    Email selkirk.news@bbc.co.uk

    Peter McGeehan emails: A straight comparison with the Edinburgh Tram System at 8.7 miles long and a final cost of £776m would surely indicate that the train gives far greater value for money, flexibility and service. The opening up of the Edinburgh to the Borders route for investment is now only subject to desire and want and not hindered by excuse!

    Harry Laird emails: I really think the railway will bring opportunities to businesses in the Borders, but they must be prepared to show some legendary Scottish enterprise. Let's give this railway a good go, and in a few years time take it on to Hawick. The wrongs of the 1960s are about to be corrected: hurrah for the railway! See you on 6 September.

  43. The Galloway News

    The Galloway News leads with the latest on the row over Dumfries and Galloway Council's education cuts.

    Galloway News
  44. Post update

    Traffic Scotland

    Latest

    tweets: #A74(M) N/B at J21 - no change unfortunately, approx 30-60min delays through the diversion & crash investigation on-going. #BeAware

  45. Get in touch

    Email selkirk.news@bbc.co.uk

    Derek Bennett emails: Total waste of money - the idea of the railway "opening up the Borders" is nonsense. Virtually no one I have spoken to over a long period is in favour of the project - it is politically motivated.

    The vast majority of people in the Borders are not close enough to a station to use the railway. I live in Heriot and the nearest station is either eight miles north (to Gorebridge) or eight miles south (to Stow). Am I really going to drive (or get on a bus) for approx eight miles to get on a train?

  46. Peebles fire

    An investigation is being carried out following a blaze at Peebles' Old Courthouse last night.

    Courthouse

    The fire broke out just before 23:00 on the first floor of the building, which now houses a restaurant and bar as well as other businesses.

    Three fire crews helped extinguish the flames and the last crew was stood down just before 2am.

    One man was treated for smoke inhalation.

  47. Get in touch

    Email selkirk.news@bbc.co.uk

    Chris Reynell emails: The report shows a boost to the local economy at over 10% of the cost of this line, a good investment.

    Hope one day the line will be continued to Carlisle, for local passenger travel and freight eg timber, aggregates and as new longer distance route to Edinburgh.

    I visit Scotland once or twice per year, by rail from Hampshire (better and cheaper than driving and more flexible than flying) and like others I know, look forward to visiting and staying in this beautiful area.

  48. Heading to Tweedbank

    Cameron Buttle

    BBC Scotland

    Heading to Tweedbank along the Borders Railway.

    Inside Borders Railway train
  49. Get involved

    Email selkirk.news@bbc.co.uk

    Jenny Mollison emails: Agree with Michael Moore all the way! The railway will reopen kinds of opportunities for people in the Borders and, crucially, take people off the roads. I live in Musselburgh and have been watching progress with excitement. I'm sure I'm not alone in just looking forward to taking trips on this line for the sheer pleasure of the experience. Congratulations all round.

    Sheila Anderson emails: Completely agree with this project. Next phase should be to continue south to Jedburgh.

  50. Keith Brown, Minister for Transport

    @KeithBrownMSP

    The Scottish transport minister Keith Brown tweets: Fantastic being on train from Galashiels to Tweedbank, and being allowed to sound the horn! All aboard! (on September 6th)

  51. 'Great sense of excitement'

    Cameron Buttle

    BBC Scotland

    On the train with infrastructure minister Keith Brown. He's been given the task of operating the warning horn in the cab as we pass work teams.

    Only travelling 3-4 miles an hour as track isn't bedded in yet. Great sense of excitement as we travel - very slowly - to Tweedbank for the final piece of track laying.

  52. Get in touch

    selkirk.news@bbc.co.uk

    A ceremony in Tweedbank will mark a major milestone in the construction of the Borders Railway today, when the final piece of track is laid.

    MP Michael Moore has said the opening of the railway in September could be an "Olympic moment" for the region. Do you agree?

    Let us know your views.

  53. Post update

    Traffic Scotland

    Latest

    tweets: #A77 S/B coming out of Cairnryan prior to the Fish Farm turning - Deer blocking the road here. TRISS are en-route to remove the animal.

  54. Post update

    Traffic Scotland

    Latest

    tweets: #A74(M) N/B J21 is currently *closed* due to a overturned HGV. Traffic being diverted off at J21 via #B7076 & #B722.

    Road map
  55. Right on track

    The final piece of track is due to be laid at the Borders Railway in a ceremony this morning.

    Tracklaying

    The 30-mile link between the Borders and Edinburgh is the longest domestic railway to be built in the UK in more than 100 years.

    It is due to open to passenger trains in September.

  56. M74 accident

    Colin Colthart

    BBC Radio Scotland, Dumfries

    A driver is in a serious condition in hospital after his lorry overturned on the M74 in Dumfriesshire.

    Police accident sign

    The crash, which happened shortly at about 04:10, has blocked the northbound carriageway at junction 21 Kirkpatrick Fleming.

    The casualty is being treated in Dumfries Infirmary.

    Traffic is being diverted on the B7076 but there are reports of long tail backs.

  57. Sunny spells in the east

    BBC Scotland Weather

    Latest

    In the Borders it will be a dry, mainly cloudy day. The cloud will break across the east to give some bright or sunny spells, especially along the Berwickshire coast. Southerly winds will be light with values today of 7 or 8 celsius where we see brighter skies.

    In Dumfries and Galloway, it will be another rather dull start to the day with very little in the way of brightness. As it turns a little more breezy we could see a few breaks this afternoon along with the odd light shower. Temperatures will reach around 6 celsius with a light south-westerly breeze.

  58. Post update

    BBC Scotland Travel

    Latest

    In Dumfries and Galloway the northbound A74(M) is closed between junction 21 Kirkpatrick Fleming and junction 20 Eaglesfield. It is likely to be that way for several hours while accident investigation work is carried out.

    Speed sensors are picking up slow traffic on the main carriageway and through the diversion which is via the B7076.

  59. Post update

    Nichola Rutherford

    BBC Scotland

    Good morning from a dreich Dumfries.

    It's already shaping up to be a busy news day so stick with us until 5pm for the latest from across the south of Scotland.