New Dumfries and Galloway railway station funds pursued

Train stations The list of potential station sites includes Thornhill, Eastriggs, Dunragit/Glenluce and Beattock

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A bid is to be made to secure funding to build new railway stations across Dumfries and Galloway.

The local authority said it wanted to tap into a £30m fund set up by the Scottish government.

The council's Labour-SNP administration has unveiled plans to seek government funding to establish up to four new local train stops.

In order of priority, they could be at Thornhill, Eastriggs, Dunragit/Glenluce and Beattock.

The first two on the list have both been subject to studies which showed that new rail stations would bring major benefits to the wider community.

The council, which plans to draw up the cash bid in conjunction with local transport partnership SWESTRANS, would also like to see the development of a rail passenger facility serving Dunragit and Glenluce.

A campaign is already under way in Beattock to reopen the former station in the village.

Passenger figures

The proposed funding application will also include proposals to refurbish the train station at Stranraer.

Councillor Colin Smyth, who chairs the economy, environment and infrastructure committee, admitted that some of the proposals were more realistic than others.

However, he said the authority hoped to secure some financial support from the Scottish government.

He said the latest passenger figures suggested that the number of people travelling by train was growing and it was important that the region had the facilities in place to cater for them.

He added that improving the rail network meant better links for business which could also help boost the local economy.

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