Then ...

The Symington, Biggar and Broughton railway left the Caledonian Railway Main Line (now the West Coast Main Line) at Symington, and passed through Biggar and Broughton; it was later extended to reach Peebles West. Intermediate stations were built at Stobo and Lyne.

Broughton Station 1964

Broughton Station 1964

There was an engine shed at Broughton, which was demolished when the line was extended to Peebles, and the Neidpath Viaduct built between Lyne and Peebles still stands and is used as a footbridge over the River Tweed. The nearby Neidpath Tunnel was used as a refuge during World War II.

Neidpath Tunnel, eastern entrance

Neidpath Tunnel, eastern entrance

Royal assent for the line was granted on 21 May 1858, and the railway was opened from Symington to Broughton on 5 November 1860. An extension to Peebles was authorised on 3 July 1860. In August 1861 the company was absorbed by the much larger Caledonian Railway. The extended line was opened into the new station at Peebles on 1 February 1864; necessitating the viaduct and tunnel at Neidpath.

The Symington, Biggar, Broughton and Peebles railway

The "Tinto Express" operated services on the line to Edinburgh in competition with the "Peebles-shire Express"; as the journey was longer, the service was sold with an emphasis on comfort rather than speed. Services to Glasgow were faster than those of their competitors.

The Talla Railway was a reservoir construction line which briefly operated from Rachan Junction (near Broughton). The line was doubled from Broughton to there in 1895 in connection with this.

The North British Railway built a line connecting the new station to their existing station in Peebles (formerly the Peebles Railway). This connecting line was called the "Caledonian Branch".

Peebles Station 1948

Peebles Station 1948

Along with the rest of the Caledonian network, it was absorbed into the London, Midland and Scottish Railway under Grouping in 1923, and then into British Rail in 1948.
The line from Peebles to Symington was closed to passengers on 6 June 1950, from Peebles West to Broughton closed on 7 June 1954, and the final closure (from Symington to Broughton) was on 4 April 1966. The section of track between Broughton and Biggar (starting beyond the coal yard in Broughton) is used as a footpath and horseriding route and in 2009 was designated as a Core Path by Scottish Borders Council. It can be cycled, but summer vegetation and a bumpy surface make it too difficult for most riders.

Source: Wikipedia

More historical resources ...

Symington, Biggar and Broughton Railway

Photographs of Symington Biggar and Broughton Railway

Talla Railway by John Furneval

Talla Railway by A J B Hope

Talla Railway picture gallery

Photographs of Peebles Railway

Peebles Railway

Neidpath Tunnel


Peebles Railway by Peter H Marshall

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