Campaigners seeking to reopen Beattock Station have launched a £25,000 appeal to fund a crucial feasibility study.
Beattock Station Action Group is calling on the communities of Beattock, Moffat and the surrounding areas to donate towards this expert report, which will be carried out by an industry specialist.
The Scottish Government has set aside money for the rebuilding of stations such as Beattock, if communities can prove the need.
Group Chairman Martin Brown said: “We’re asking businesses and residents to contribute towards the expert report because this is the only way that the Scottish Government will fund the reopening of the station. This was confirmed by Transport Minister Keith Brown when he visited us last month.
“A station at Beattock would give a massive boost to the local economy and stimulate regeneration. It would transform residents’ work opportunities, with a daily commute to Edinburgh or Glasgow taking only 45 minutes, and make it much easier for people to use the train for shopping or leisure.
“Better access to the rail network would also improve the environment for everyone by reducing the number of car journeys.
“We’re very encouraged that we’ve already received three-figure donations from a number of local businesses. We hope everyone will get behind the campaign – it’s your station and your future.”
Moffat and Beattock are the focal point for travel, tourism and other businesses in central southern Scotland.
Situated on the West Coast Main Line, Beattock is an important transport hub, in a key location for travel, tourism and other businesses in central southern Scotland. 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.
However, no train has stopped at Beattock, immortalised in WH Auden’s poem The Night Mail, for 42 years. The 48-mile stretch of railway track from Lockerbie to Carstairs is the longest in Britain with no station.
Beattock is now 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.