Borders Railway comes into service with the seal of Royal approval.
The Queen and Prince Philip will officially open the new £294 million, 31-mile route on September 9, the day she passes the record set by Queen Victoria.
Victoria reigned for 23,226 days, 16 hours and 23 minutes, taking into account 63 years, 15 leap days and the precise timings of her accession and death.
The Queen will mark the milestone by travelling on a train, with First Minister Nicola Sturgeon, drawn by the steam locomotive Union of South Africa from Waverley Station in Edinburgh, stopping off at Newtongrange in Midlothian before carrying on to the final stop at Tweedbank.
The new railway will transform tourism opportunities in Scotland
Services on the new line, which will re-establish services closed in 1969, will impact on house prices along the route from Waverley to Tweedbank with eight stops in between – seven of them brand new stations.
Existing residents will find a superb new, fast and relatively inexpensive way of travelling to and from work in Edinburgh.
A return trip will cost little more than £15 while a weekly season ticket will be around £63.
Consider that value against the cost of city centre parking?
No wonder many are now considering leaving the capital for more modestly priced property within easy striking distance of work slashing the costs of mortgages, rents and transport while enjoying the best aspects of rural lifestyle.
So the new rail route is likely to impact upon property prices in the area.
And now is the time to consider a move before the full impact of potential price rises comes into force.
Stephen Lawson, property consultant, with McEwan Fraser Legal said:
“Throughout the year, there has been an increase in clients who are actively discussing the railway and there is certainly a great deal of anticipation from both buyers and sellers who are hoping the railway will have a positive impact on the community, as well as property prices in the area.”
“Although there has not been a significant rise in property prices in the Borders in general, there has certainly been a rise in activity in most towns, however we do not expect price increases until the line is fully operational.”
“There are also several new build developments in Galashiels, Tweedbank and Clovenfords who are attracting buyers through various schemes including part exchange and help to buy.
“This is contributing to clients considering moving to the Borders to experience a more ‘rural’ lifestyle as well as having the benefit of good transport links and more affordable housing than that of in the City.
“There have, however, been concerns over the cost of commuting by rail from Galashiels and Tweedbank, compared to the cost of either car sharing or commuting by bus.”
The route will call at existing stations in Brunstane, Newcraighall.
And there are new halts at Shawfair, Eskbank, Newtongrange, Gorebridge, Stow, Galashiels and Tweedbank.
New properties are being built along the route already in preparation for those wishing to take advantage of the service while existing property prices are expected to benefit from the latest addition to the transport infrastructure.
The line is part of the original 98-mile Waverley line, which ran from Edinburgh to Carlisle, and which was closed after the Beeching Report in the 1960s as part of cost-cutting measures.
The Borders were badly hit with the previous 50 minute train trip to Edinburgh replaced by a 90 minute bus journey.
For details of property currently for sale in the Borders click here