Full steam ahead for the Borders Railway

It was a very special day in local history on Saturday as Edinburgh College joined the celebrations of the launch of the new Borders Railway. Golden ticket holders from the college were invited to take the first journey on the line, departing from Eskbank Station on the doorstep of Midlothian Campus.

To mark the day, Midlothian Campus hosted festivities including live music from local school pupils and Midlothian Council’s pop-up community event. Thirteen-year-old local girl Erin Gilbertson, who suffers from a rare heart condition, unveiled a plaque at the college to commemorate the opening of Eskbank Station. Erin was joined by Councillor for the Dalkeith ward Jim Bryant who gave words of welcome to all those sharing the day and their railway stories.

Edinburgh College board members at Borders Railway launch

Edinburgh College board members at Borders Railway launch

The event was also an opportunity for the college to show off its green credentials at Midlothian. Electric vehicle administrator Bob Murphy took visitors out on guided tours in the college’s fleet of electric cars and gave guests a glimpse of our solar meadow and on-site wind turbine.

Amongst the lucky staff members who joined another 454 golden ticket winners for a luxury round trip – the first in half a century – were college principal Annette Bruton, Board vice chair Ian Young, and Davie Hyslop and Doug Moffat from the Engineering department. Davie and Doug are the college’s two longest-standing members of staff at Midlothian Campus and have both been at the college since 1979.

Davie, a technical assessor in the domestic gas field said, “I thoroughly enjoyed my day on the railway – especially the meet and greet this morning, our stop off at Waverley and the journey up to Tweedale. Superb! It’s great to see it back in action after 46 years dormant.”

Doug, a lecturer in mechanical and gas engineering, has watched the construction of the railway week by week and will use the line to get to work as well as to visit relatives who live in the Borders.

He said, “It’s been a jolly good morning and afternoon – I loved the VIP goodie bags on the train and the buzz – and brewery – as we came into Waverley.”

“The Borders Railway will be a big advantage for the college – for students and staff who commute every day.”

College principal Annette Bruton said: “The Borders Railway is a fantastic piece of work that should bring real benefits to the college, our students, our partners and our communities. It’ll mean a quicker, easier and greener journey to our Midlothian Campus for many of our students, as well as more travel options to our Milton Road site.

“We work really closely with education and industry partners in the Borders so opening up this regional connection can only make us more effective in collaborating and connecting the learning communities across south-east Scotland. I’m confident that the new line will help us continue developing and delivering the education and workforce the region needs.

“Our engineering and construction students should be inspired by this fine example of their crafts, and I’d be delighted to see some of them going on to work on the line.”

Another special guest at the college on the day was 89-year-old Midlothian Ron Greaves from Dalkeith, who was a lecturer in mechanical engineering at the college from 1953 until 1991. Ron, who had not been back to the college since he retired, enjoyed a trip in one of the electric vehicles and had a look around the workshops.

He said: “The college is unrecognisable from when I saw it last. It’s incredible. The facilities are all so sophisticated now – it’s like a film set.

“It’s been lovely to be back at the college.”

It was a very special day in local history on Saturday as Edinburgh College joined the celebrations of the launch of the new Borders Railway. Golden ticket holders from the college were invited to take the first journey on the line, departing from Eskbank Station on the doorstep of Midlothian Campus.

To mark the day, Midlothian Campus hosted festivities including live music from local school pupils and Midlothian Council’s pop-up community event. Thirteen-year-old local girl Erin Gilbertson, who suffers from a rare heart condition, unveiled a plaque at the college to commemorate the opening of Eskbank Station. Erin was joined by Councillor for the Dalkeith ward Jim Bryant who gave words of welcome to all those sharing the day and their railway stories

The event was also an opportunity for the college to show off its green credentials at Midlothian. Electric vehicle administrator Bob Murphy took visitors out on guided tours in the college’s fleet of electric cars and gave guests a glimpse of our solar meadow and on-site wind turbine.

Amongst the lucky staff members who joined another 454 golden ticket winners for a luxury round trip – the first in half a century – were college principal Annette Bruton, Board vice chair Ian Young, and Davie Hyslop and Doug Moffat from the Engineering department. Davie and Doug are the college’s two longest-standing members of staff at Midlothian Campus and have both been at the college since 1979.

Davie, a technical assessor in the domestic gas field said, “I thoroughly enjoyed my day on the railway – especially the meet and greet this morning, our stop off at Waverley and the journey up to Tweedale. Superb! It’s great to see it back in action after 46 years dormant.”

Doug, a lecturer in mechanical and gas engineering, has watched the construction of the railway week by week and will use the line to get to work as well as to visit relatives who live in the Borders.

He said, “It’s been a jolly good morning and afternoon – I loved the VIP goodie bags on the train and the buzz – and brewery – as we came into Waverley.”

“The Borders Railway will be a big advantage for the college – for students and staff who commute every day.”

College principal Annette Bruton said: “The Borders Railway is a fantastic piece of work that should bring real benefits to the college, our students, our partners and our communities. It’ll mean a quicker, easier and greener journey to our Midlothian Campus for many of our students, as well as more travel options to our Milton Road site.

“We work really closely with education and industry partners in the Borders so opening up this regional connection can only make us more effective in collaborating and connecting the learning communities across south-east Scotland. I’m confident that the new line will help us continue developing and delivering the education and workforce the region needs.

“Our engineering and construction students should be inspired by this fine example of their crafts, and I’d be delighted to see some of them going on to work on the line.”

Another special guest at the college on the day was 89-year-old Midlothian Ron Greaves from Dalkeith, who was a lecturer in mechanical engineering at the college from 1953 until 1991. Ron, who had not been back to the college since he retired, enjoyed a trip in one of the electric vehicles and had a look around the workshops.

He said: “The college is unrecognisable from when I saw it last. It’s incredible. The facilities are all so sophisticated now – it’s like a film set.

“It’s been lovely to be back at the college.”