More than 125,000 passenger journeys have been made on the Borders Railway in its first month of operation, outstripping initial expectations. Since opening on September 6, 125,971 passenger journeys have been undertaken on the route. The line's popularity has even surprised operator ScotRail which has had to add extra carriages to peak and weekend services. Seventeen steam services being run from September to mid-October have also sold out. The line was built on the northern section of the trackbed of the Waverley route - the Edinburgh to Carlisle line that closed in 1969. The Borders Railway, the longest domestic UK railway to be built for over a hundred years, includes new stations at Shawfair, Eskbank, Newtongrange, Gorebridge, Stow, Galashiels and Tweedbank. Councillor David Parker, Leader of Scottish Borders Council, said: "I was always confident that the Borders Railway would be a success, but even a passionate railway supporter such as myself has been taken aback by the huge numbers who have embraced the new service. "We have not only had Borderers using the service for work and recreation but many people from the central belt have been jumping on board to visit our region. The knock-on effect has already been seen, with local businesses such as cafes and restaurants reporting extra trade. "The aim of the Borders Railway Blueprint programme is for the railway to stimulate growth in our businesses, investment into our region and to create new jobs - already we are starting to see signs of all three and it bodes very well for the future."
The facility will become TMH's only production site in Africa. It will be used to assemble, maintain and refurbish diesel and electric locomotives as well as coaches for South Africa and the rest of the continent.