St Boswells to Kelso Branch John Speller's Web Pages St Boswells to Kelso Branch

John Speller's Web Pages - North British Railway
St Boswells to Kelso Branch
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The North British Railway's ten-and-a-half mile double tracked St Boswells to Kelso Branch opened for passenger and goods traffic as far as a temporary terminus at Wallacenick, just west of Kelso, on 17 January 1850. The permanent terminus in Kelso was completed and opened on 27 January 1851, and the line was extended about a mile beyond Kelso to form an end-on junction with the North Eastern Railway's branch to Tweedmouth on 1 June 1851. As Paterson's Guide to the United Kingdom(1885) pointed out, though, "The trains from St Boswell's to Kelso, however, do not run in connection with those from Kelso to Berwick [Tweedmouth]. A quicker but much less interesting route from St Boswells to Berwick is via Duns and Reston." It is probable, indeed, that the North British had a deliberate policy of not connecting with the North Eastern at Kelso in order to encourage passengers to use their Reston line. The North British and North Eastern lines together did, however, form part of an alternative route from Berwick-on-Tweed to Edinburgh from August to October 1948, when the East Coast Main Line was closed because of flood damage. Thus the Flying Scotsman and other main line expresses were seen crawling over the Kelso branches at 25 mph. Passenger service was withdrawn under the Beeching Axe on 15 June 1964, followed by singling of the line in March 1965 and withdrawal of goods service on 1 April 1968.

The Jedburgh Railway, a nine-and-a-half double tracked branch to Jedburgh from Roxburgh Junction on the St Boswells to Kelso line, was authorized by an Act of 1855 and opened in July 1856. It was worked by the North British Railway, which absorbed it in 1860. The same storm which led to the closure of the East Coast Main Line north of Berwick washed out the bridge over the Teviot River between Nisbet and Jedfoot on the Jedburgh line on 13 August 1948. Following rebuilding of the bridge the line reopened to goods traffic, but passenger traffic never resumed. The Jedburgh branch closed to freight on 10 August 1964.
Map of the St Boswells to Kelso Branch of the North British Railway
An early view of St Boswells station. The 0-4-0 locomotive is possibly one of the two 5 ft. 3 in. engines (later LNER Class "Y-10") built to the design of Thomas Wheatley in 1867-68. These were the last 0-4-0 tender locomotives to run in Britain
RCTS Borders Rail Tour between Roxburgh Junction and Kelso, 9 July 1961. Restored North British Railway D34 4-4-0 No. 256 "Glen Douglas" and North British Railway J37
0-6-0 No. 64624 Image copyright Ben Brooksbank and licensed for reuse under this Creative Commons Licence
Maxton station in around 1910
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