Borders to Edinburgh railway: Carlisle extension would be 'wonderful'

Falahill Mr Parker said extending the Borders railway to Carlisle would be a boost to the region and the nation

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A council leader has said extending the soon to be reopened Borders railway to Carlisle would be "wonderful news".

The Edinburgh to Tweedbank line is due to come into operation next year.

Scottish Borders Council leader David Parker said its eventual extension would be a boost for the local economy and the country as a whole.

He was speaking after First Minister Alex Salmond was in Carlisle where he discussed cross-border relations if Scotland votes for independence.

Mr Parker said he believed the case for another Scotland-England rail link in addition to the East Coast and West Coast lines was compelling.

"A third strategic route up from Carlisle to Edinburgh via the Borders would be a wonderful piece of news," he said.

"It would be good news for the local economy but it would also be very good news for the country in relation to moving passengers and moving freight.

"There are many railway experts down south who have been calling for this strategic route to be opened for quite some time now."

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