Official Reston station opening event pays tribute to local community

Published: 29th July 2022

An official opening event for Reston station was held yesterday morning bringing together members of the local community who played an integral part in bringing rail travel back to the area for the first time in 58 years.

Transport Minister and SBC representatives thank community for their time & effort 

The event organised by us provided an opportunity to say thank you to residents of Reston and the surrounding areas for their efforts campaigning and supporting the return of rail travel to the village of Reston and the wider Berwickshire area.

Local residents, including members of Reston Community Council, local rail campaign group RAGES and members of SBC along with representatives from Scottish Government, Network Rail and the major train operating companies all gathered together in the station car park as Transport Minister Jenny Gilruth gave an opening welcome speech and did the honour of cutting the ceremonial ribbon.

Representatives from the community also spoke of their experiences and involvement over the last few years in helping make the reopening of Reston station a reality.

The brand-new railway station at Reston welcomed its first passengers on 23 May and has already proven to be a vital transport link helping to improve connectivity across rural areas of Berwickshire.

Following the ceremony all the attendees were then invited back to Reston Village Hall for a lunch and drinks reception.

Councillor Watson McAteer, Convener of Scottish Borders Council:

“There are many people to thank for their sheer persistence and determination that has seen the return of rail travel to Reston and for many the culmination of a lifelong ambition.

“Much of the thanks must be reserved for the local community who have been critical to the project’s success and have been tireless in their efforts. Thanks must also go to the Rail Action Group, East of Scotland (RAGES) who have worked alongside politicians and Council Officers to deliver this project.

Councillor Euan Jardine, Leader of Scottish Borders Council:

“The delivery of this new station would not have been possible without effective collaboration and partnership between Scottish Government, Scottish Borders Council, East Lothian Council, SEStrans and the local community.

“Through the Scottish Government’s £20million investment, combined with the £3million contribution from SBC, a significant financial investment has been made and with that a real commitment to helping this area regenerate and grow sustainably to deliver long-term inclusive economic growth for Reston and the wider Berwickshire area.

“It is hoped that this facility will be a catalyst for change and encourage more sustainable economic growth whilst making the surrounding area more accessible, encouraging new employment opportunities, improving education and leisure and making the eastern Borders a must visit location.”

Jenny Gilruth, Minister for Transport:

“This is a fantastic achievement for local communities who long campaigned for rail services for this area and I am delighted that the Scottish Government backed this project with £20 million of investment to make it happen.

“It is a real celebration of those who campaigned over the course of so many years to bring Reston station back into being -  I’d like to thank the many partners involved in this project, which will ultimately deliver better connectivity to Reston and the surrounding area.

“Reston station of course isn’t just a train station. It will enhance access to jobs, education, and leisure opportunities. New stations have the power to drive investment and to encourage inward investment and tourism as we’ve seen in the Borders. It was an honour to join the people of Reston on this day of celebration.”

David Horne, Managing Director at LNER:

“We are delighted to support the ceremonial opening at Reston station, the latest destination on one of the most scenic parts of our route, boasting magnificent views of both the Scottish Borders countryside and coastline.

“We are proud to be able to serve the community of Reston with our world-class Azuma trains and legendary customer service.”

Matthew Spence, Director of Route Business Development for Network Rail:

“We are always delighted to complete work on new stations and open up Scotland’s Railway to new communities.

“The new station at Reston is an exciting development that has the potential to transform life for local people and the communities it will serve. It is testament to the diligence and dedication of all of those who campaigned over many years to make it happen.

“We hope the campaigners and community enjoy the station for many years to come and it delivers the social, economic, education and leisure opportunities for people across the area and we look forward to seeing the positive impact the railway will have going forward.”

Matthew Golton, Managing Director for TransPennine Express:

“I was thrilled to attend the official opening of Reston station, celebrating all those that have had such an instrumental role in restoring a rail link to both the town and surrounding area. 

“Back in May, our ‘St Abb’s Head’ Nova train became the first passenger service to call at Reston in 58 years, with journeys on this route continuing to grow in popularity and customers across this community now benefitting from valuable connections, whether for work, education or leisure.”