South Scotland

Borders Railway's 'game-changer' potential highlighted

Train Image copyright Dougie Johnston

The group aiming to maximise the benefits of the Borders Railway has said it can be a tourism "game-changer" for the areas it serves.

A team has been at Visit Scotland's Expo highlighting the attractions of the route which opened last year.

The Borders Railway Blueprint - already backed to the tune of £17m - has also been drawn up to help boost business.

Sam Smith, who represents the partnership behind it, said it had the potential to have a huge impact.

"The railway is absolutely a game-changer for tourism, basically opening up and connecting the regions into UK and international travel hubs," she said.

'Key attractions'

Ms Smith said it made journey times shorter and easier for the tourism industry to package for visitors.

One area they hope to exploit again is the success of steam train trips between Edinburgh and Tweedbank.

"Very creatively, local businesses and visitor attractions offered add-on tours," Ms Smith said.

"People could visit key attractions like Abbotsford and Melrose Abbey but also enjoy our town centres.

"ScotRail are currently working on plans to repeat the highly-successful steam train trips and we hope there will be an announcement quite soon of a quite exciting steam train option for this summer."

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