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Virgin boss Branson invited to Beattock

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By Fiona Reid
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Virgin boss Branson invited to Beattock

A BILLIONAIRE businessman is being urged to meet with Beattock Station campaigners.

Virgin Trains boss Sir Richard Branson has been invited to meet with the group fighting for the re-opening of the village station.

South Scotland MSP Joan McAlpine wrote to him after a meeting with the Beattock Station Action Group, whom she described as ‘well-organised and enthusiastic’.

Beattock Station, which closed in 1972, sits on the West Coast Mainline on the longest stretch of rail in the UK without a stop.

It is currently fifth on the Regional Transport Partnership’s list of stations to reopen, but it is acknowledged that it is the only one with an active community campaign.

Ms McAlpine believes the case would be strengthened if Virgin would agree to stop at the station.

She said: “At the moment trains speed past Beattock on the largest stretch of rail without a stop in the whole UK. “I have no doubt it could once again become an essential stop on the West Coast Main Line.”

In the late 90s the Virgin boss’s commitment to help fund a feasibility study was instrumental in the fight to re-open the Waverley Line in the Borders.

Ms McAlpine said: “Like the Campaign for Borders Rail, the Beattock Station Action Group is well organised and enthusiastic.

“I would be absolutely thrilled if Sir Richard agreed to meet my constituents and discuss the possibility of stopping some services at Beattock – I have no doubt that he would be convinced that there is a clear case for doing so.”

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