Local SNP member Joan McAlpine has written to Sir Richard Branson urging him to meet with campaigners fighting for the re-opening of Beattock Station.
Ms McAlpine’s plea to the Virgin boss comes after a meeting with the Beattock Station Action Group, who the MSP described as “well-organised and enthusiastic.”
Beattock Station which closed in 1972 sits on the West Coast Mainline on the longest stretch of rail in the UK without a stop. It is currently fifth on the Regional Transport Partnership’s list of stations to re-open, but it is acknowledged that it is the only one with an active community campaign.
Ms McAlpine believes the case would be strengthened if Virgin would agree to stop at the station.
Commenting, the South Scotland MSP said:
“At the moment, trains speed past Beattock on the largest stretch of rail without a stop in the whole UK.
“I have no doubt it could once again become an essential stop on the West Coast Main Line. Because of its place in history and literature, it has considerable tourist potential. It would also be an excellent stop off point for walkers keen to explore the beautiful Southern Uplands and the Grey Mare’s Tail.”
In the late 90s the Virgin boss’s commitment to help fund a feasibility study was instrumental in the fight to re-open the Waverley Line in the Borders.
Ms McAlpine said:
“Like the Campaign for Borders Rail, the Beattock Station Action Group is well organised and enthusiastic.
“I would be absolutely thrilled if Sir Richard agreed to meet my constituents and discuss the possibility of stopping some services at Beattock – I have no doubt that he would be convinced that there is a clear case for doing so.”
Notes to editors:
Letter to Sir Richard Branson attached.