A Sad Sight But A Bright Future
Penicuik’s former oil powered engine, is set to undergo a major restoration for use in Northumberland, as the Labour party in Penicuik announce that the Penicuik line reinstatement will likely be included in the upcoming Midlothian Local Development Plan.
“Weepug” – as the engine was known – was spotted on Monday being transported from a storage depot in Wooler, Northumberland, to a workshop where it will join many other historical trains in being part of a major restoration project. Penicuik’s engine has been exposed to the elements for the past few years however as part of the Aln Valley Railway project it will be now be revived to – what we understand – a fully operational condition. It will soon be available to view on the three mile long stretch of rail just over the border.
Elsewhere, Labour are continuing to push forward with their plans for the reinstatement of Penicuik’s railway line. The line, which was terminated after Dr Beeching’s damning report fifty years ago in 1963, could be partly or fully restored within a decade under plans put forward by Penicuik’s Labour constituency. It is now clear that as part of Midlothian’s dedication to inspiring growth, the major economic project will likely be part of the council’s Development Plan, which will be put out for public consultation in May. This is a major step forward for the project which has been long pledged by Labour after previous feasibility study plans where refused by the government due to their high cost. However this time, they have partnered with Napier University to allow students to carry out the investigation into the physical and economical issues relating to such a project. It is thought that because of this the costs will be lowered and crucial ‘real life’ experience will be given to the students participating.
As yet it is unknown how the line would be reintroduced. The route could be similar to the old that of the old line which would connect the whole of the A701 corridor to the national network. Due to new developments around the old route though there would likely need to be major remedial works for a new electric line to be instated however a TPC investigation shows that an alternative could exist. A new line could be connected to the Border’s Railway Line, which is currently under construction. Penicuik could be joined to this line by erecting a West-East line from Penicuik to Gorebridge with an additional station at Carrington. Penicuik’s Station would be in the Pomathorn area of the town. This would allow many people to travel not only into Edinburgh but also south into the Borders and England. Only time will tell regarding how our town will be reconnected to the national network however it is now likely that the questions on everyones’ lips will be how and when and not if.
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