Page last updated at 15:51 GMT, Saturday, 27 March 2010

Restored line opens to steam train passengers

Bo'ness & Kinneil Railway
The society has operated the Bo'ness & Kinneil Railway since 1979

Steam train services have returned for passengers on a railway in Scotland after more than 50 years.

The restored Bo'ness to Birkhill line has been extended a further 1.5 miles (2.4km) to Manuel by the Scottish Railway Preservation Society (SRPS).

Passengers are now able to travel along the full length of the historic line.

The extension to the railway cost £125,000 thanks to an army of volunteer workers, who saved the charity about £600,000 in labour costs.

David Bytheway, editor of the SRPS magazine Blastpipe, said: "It is a hard slog out there on the line and you begin to wonder what it is all about.

The world is changing so fast that it gives them a comfort to restore some of the old ways
David Bytheway
editor of SRPS magazine Blastpipe

"I think the attraction is that people today have a need to do manual jobs to go back and restore old crafts.

"The world is changing so fast that it gives them a comfort to restore some of the old ways."

He added: "Many are historians who are fascinated with how railways shaped Scotland."

The society has operated the Bo'ness & Kinneil Railway since 1979, with Bo'ness station opening in 1981. The line was restored for passenger trains and extended to Kinneil in 1987 and to Birkhill in 1989.

The final section of the line between Birkhill and Manuel was re-laid in 1990 to provide a connection with the Edinburgh to Glasgow main line at Manuel.

Until now it has only been used for moving locomotives and carriages, allowing trains to reach Bo'ness from main line routes.

Regular services will now run from Bo'ness to Manuel.



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