|R337||50th Anniversary of the Closure of the Waverley Route||£10.95||Buy Now|
Issue Date: 05/01/2019
Issue Name: 50th Anniversary of the Closure of the Waverley Route
Producer: Buckingham Covers
This is the first cover in our 2019 rail series and is one of the more controversial subjects, marking the 50th anniversary of the last train to run on the Waverley Route. This cover focuses on the protests surrounding one of the bigest rail line closures in British Rail History and features our Hawick 'Farewell to Waverley' 50th anniversary postmark along with a £1 Machin and an 8 pence Waverley Class rail stamp.
The Waverley Route
The Waverley Route was a railway line that ran south from Edinburgh, through Midlothian and the Scottish Borders to Carlisle. The line was built by the North British Railway; the stretch from Edinburgh to Hawick opened in 1849 and the remainder to Carlisle opened in 1862. The line was nicknamed after the immensely popular Waverley Novels, written by Sir Walter Scott.
The line was finally closed in 1969, Saturday 4 January was the last busy day of operations. As the protestors gathered along the station platform in the chilly morning air of the Scottish Borders, the train driver prepared the Class 47 locomotive, D1974 for action. This was the commemorative special, Farewell to the Waverley route service which signalled the greatly delayed closure of the line. A long running campaign against the closure had been fought and although freight services would continue for a further three months, the closure of the line been heralded. Although fifty years have passed since the now notorious “Beeching Cuts” of the 1960s remain contentious. The railways had emerged from battle scarred and underinvested from its World War Two service. Formed into a single entity by the Transport Act of 1947, British Railways firstly sought to create a transport system for the future via the provisions within the visionary 1954 Modernisation and Re-Equipment of the British Railways report. Whilst some progress was made, the financial position of the railways continued to decline and the level of subsidies required to simply operate the network gave cause for Government concern. In order to expand electrification, renew infrastructure and replace aged rolling stock, major investment was required yet passenger numbers were falling as car ownership boomed. In an effort to reduce costs, the Reshaping of the Railways report of 1963 was commissioned. Spearheaded by the new Chairman of British Railway, Dr Richard Beeching, the report recommended a drastic reduction to the service network. Based upon a nationwide traffic survey of a single day, the report sought to reduce cross subsidisation and provide a streamlined trunk rail system. As illustrated on the map within Part Two of the report, the lines selected for closure were located on the fringes of the network, many within areas which had limited alternative transport options, negatively impacting upon resident’s lives and development potential of the area. Factors which campaigners had highlighted, yet by 1975 the track had sadly ceased to exist.
Part of the Waverley line, from Edinburgh to Tweedbank was reopened in September 2015, becoming known as the Borders Railway.
Want to keep your rail covers safe? View our lovely Railway Album here