Page last updated at 14:44 GMT, Monday, 19 May 2008 15:44 UK

First passenger takes Alloa train

Paul Drummond is the line's first passenger. Pic by JAN VAN DE MERWE (Central Scotland News Agency)
Passenger Paul Drummond with conductress Lyn Robbins

A man whose grandfather and great-grandfather worked on the railway has become the first passenger for 40 years to buy a ticket at Alloa train station.

Paul Drummond, 32, who was on his way to an Army training course, arrived at Alloa Station at 0545 BST.

The first passenger train to depart the re-opened station which closed in 1968, was the 0611 BST service to Stirling.

The 13-mile track, costing 85m, will carry passengers between Stirling and Alloa and freight to Kincardine, Fife.

Mr Drummond, from Alloa, said he wanted to be the first passenger to use the new line as a tribute to his grandfathers.

Important railway

He said: "I didn't have to be in Stirling until 8am, but I got up extra early in hope of being the first passenger, and it worked.

"My great-grandfather on my father's side was a signalman based at Callander, and my grandfather on my mother's side was an inspector on the old Oban line, working between Dunblane and Killin.

"Both their careers on the railway came to a end in the Beeching era, around the time the Alloa line closed, so I thought it would be a nice tribute to them to be the first passenger when it all came full circle and the Alloa line opened again."

Glasgow-based train conductress Lyn Robbins also made history, by issuing the first ticket.

Transport Scotland has called the restoration of the track "one of the most important railway infrastructure projects Scotland has seen in decades".

In addition to carrying passengers on the Alloa to Stirling section, the line will carry coal to Longannet Power Station near Kincardine, taking pressure off the Forth Bridge.


SEE ALSO
Celebrations set for rail opening
09 May 08 |  Tayside and Central
Trains back on track after 40 years
15 May 08 |  Tayside and Central
Station parking 'still on track'
16 Feb 08 |  Tayside and Central
Work starts on new railway line
02 Oct 06 |  Tayside and Central
Rail link plan given green light
18 Aug 05 |  Scotland

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