The Waverley Line

The Waverley Line was a railway line, formerly running between Edinburgh and Carlisle through several Border towns, including Hawick. It was officially opened in 1862, following the completion of the Edinburgh-Hawick line in 1849. The line was just shy of one-hundred miles in length (98.25 miles exactly) and was named after Sir Walter Scott’s famous series of novels by the same name. Connecting the smaller, rural Border towns the likes of Hawick and Galashiels, and even smaller settlements such as Newcastleton, to large economic centres either side of the border allowed for a flourishing of trade and population movement. Undoubtedly, it was a boon to the Borders. However, the Waverley Line was discontinued in 1969 – the first main-line closure in Britain, and a highly-contentious decision. (Villagers of Newcastleton hosted a sit-down protest on the line, holding up the last train to travel the Waverley before its closure). Part of the line reopened in 2015 as the Borders Railway, but this only runs from Edinburgh to Tweedbank, stopping far short of Hawick. There exists much local support for a further extension of the Borders Railway, to Hawick and beyond.