Railway Paths & Byways SCOTTISH BORDERS - NEW 5X7 Inches (178x127mm).

Plenty of books have been written about the lost railways of here, there and everywhere. But this book simply celebrates their parting gift: the railway path, which was born at great cost. During the 1960s 650 miles of railway lines in Scotland were axed. One of the most saddening of all these closures was the 98-mile Waverley Route from Edinburgh to Carlisle, which left the Scottish Borders the only region in Britain without a rail service, and Hawick the town furthest from any railway station.

Throughout history branch railways have rarely made much of a profit due to their high operating costs; but, along with the Romans, they did help create the modern world. In the 1960s, however, the political world decided that the railways had had their day, and believed that the future lay in road transport. With hindsight it may seem easy to see the wrong turnings politicians and planners took, but in those days road congestion had yet to become a serious issue. Nonetheless, what happened to the railways during the sixties was way beyond a wrong turning: it was a cold-blooded slaughter that ignored social consequences and destroyed people’s livelihoods. Since those days miles and miles of motorways and bypasses have carved up the countryside, and motoring has turned into a chaos we are forced to live with. The railways may have created the modern world, but the car is seemingly intent on destroying it.

Although most of the old branch lines are gone today, a few, like the new BordersRailway that opened in 2015, are struggling back to life. But while for the most part they are just a dream remembered, it was in the aftermath of this mass destruction that our railway paths were spawned, and as a consequence of the closure of the railways we have been left a legacy of miles and miles of tranquil, traffic-free, winding pathways across the Borders in a landscape of tumbling hills and the mighty River Tweed. A true land of romance for all to explore, our means to enjoy it is thanks in no small part to the railways that once weaved their way across this glamour-haunted land.