Why are you campaigning to reopen Beattock Station?
Beattock, Moffat and the surrounding areas urgently need a local station. Currently, there is a stretch of nearly 48 miles of railway line between Lockerbie and Carstairs with no station. The reopened Beattock Station would serve about 5,000 local people and transform their work opportunities, with a daily commute to Edinburgh or Glasgow taking only 45 minutes. A station at Beattock would make it much easier for people to use the train for shopping or leisure. Better access to the UK’s rail network would improve the environment for everyone by reducing the number of car journeys.
Would rail passengers be able to park at Beattock Station?
Beattock is ideally placed to become a park and ride, or Parkway, station. The local community owns land next to the station that could be used for off-street parking. This makes Beattock an excellent option for people from the Dumfries area travelling northwards.
Why is Beattock so important?
Moffat and Beattock are the focal point for travel, tourism and other businesses in central southern Scotland. Reopening Beattock Station would regenerate the surrounding area by increasing tourism and other business. Situated on the West Coast Main Line, Beattock is an important transport hub in its own right. The M74 motorway from Glasgow to the English border at Gretna runs near the line and the Southern Upland Way, Scotland’s famous 212-mile coast-to-coast walk, passes through Beattock, which is also on the National Cycle Network.
The station is located at the base of a ten-mile incline between the village of Beattock and Beattock Summit, which is the highest railway point in the UK at 1,016 feet above sea level. In the days of steam haulage, the locomotives would struggle to haul heavy trains up to the summit unaided. There was an engine shed at Beattock with additional banking locomotives on standby, 24 hours per day, to push the heavy trains up the incline. Beattock Summit was immortalised in WH Auden’s poem The Night Mail in 1935: “Pulling up Beattock, a steady climb: The gradient’s against her, but she’s on time.”
What’s happened so far?
Since the Beattock Station Action Group was set up in 2012, our main aim has been to raise awareness of the benefits of reopening the station. We are doing this by high level lobbying of politicians, transport groups and rail companies, and fundraising in our local communities. We spent six months carrying out a survey to find out local residents’ views. There was an overwhelming response in favour, with 640 out of 643 people supporting the proposal to reopen Beattock Station. Click here to find out more.
What’s the next stage?
We have made significant progress by lobbying government departments, railway companies and transport agencies. Our supporters include MSPs, MPs, councillors, businesses and community groups. We are now ready to take the case for Beattock to the Scottish Government. To do this, we need a detailed feasibility study, carried out by a rail industry expert.
Who pays for the feasibility study?
Under the Scottish Stations Fund, local communities are expected to pay for the feasibility study to show their commitment to developing a station. We are campaigning to raise £25,000 for this. Once the study supporting the case for Beattock has been completed, the Scottish Government will fund the building of the new station and car park.
What happens if you don’t raise the money?
The process will be much slower, which means thousands of local people will have to wait many years for the station they need now.
How can I help?
We need your help to raise £25,000 for the feasibility study. We would love to see you at one or more of the many fundraising events we hold throughout the year. These are publicised on our website and via Twitter and our Facebook page. You can also donate online, or contact us by email if you would like to help in any other way. Every penny counts towards this investment in our communities’ future.