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Her Majesty to get a royal welcome at Newtongrange

Monday August 31st 2015

Borders Railway Steam Train

Hundreds of school children and local residents are expected to welcome The Queen to Newtongrange on Wednesday 9 September when Her Majesty unveils a plaque at the new Borders Railway station to commemorate its opening.

The Queen and The Duke of Edinburgh, accompanied by First Minister Nicola Sturgeon, will make the historic Borders Railway journey on the Union of South Africa steam train on the day Her Majesty becomes the UK’s longest reigning monarch.

The Chief Executive of Midlothian Council, Kenneth Lawrie, said: “In Midlothian, we are extremely proud of our partnership role in getting this vital transport link reopened. The railway line and the four new stations will transform the Midlothian economy, bring new jobs, investment and housing.

“We are delighted and honoured that Her Majesty will be unveiling a plaque at Newtongrange Station on what will be a memorable day for Midlothian.”

The Royal party will embark at Edinburgh Waverley where 10 Midlothian pupils from Newtongrange, Stobhill, Gorebridge, St Andrew’s and King’s Park primary schools will be among a 40-strong guard of honour for Her Majesty.

Among the passengers on board the steam train will be local people who have helped build the line and golden ticket winners from Midlothian.

The train will arrive at Newtongrange Station at approximately 10:55am when The Queen, The Duke of Edinburgh, the First Minister and the Cabinet Secretary for Infrastructure, Investment and Cities, Keith Brown MSP, will be met by Lord Lieutenant of Midlothian, Sir Robert Clerk.

On arrival, Sir Robert will present Her Majesty to the Vice Lord Lieutenant, Lieutenant Colonel Richard Callander, the Provost of Midlothian, Councillor Joe Wallace, Midlothian Council Leader Councillor Catherine Johnstone and the Chief Executive, Kenneth Lawrie. Members of the Royal Company of Archers will form a guard of honour on the concourse and the Lord Lieutenant’s cadets, Sergeant Jamie Butler and Flight Sergeant Ian Ross, will also be in attendance.

Local residents and school children from Gorebridge, Lawfield , Mayfield, Moorfoot, Newtongrange, St Andrew’s, St Luke’s, Stobhill primary schools and Newbattle High School will be on the station concourse together with staff from the National Mining Museum of Scotland including former miners Tom Young, John Anderson, Sinclair Sutherland and David McDougall who will be dressed in their mining boiler suits.

The Provost, Councillor Wallace, will invite The Queen to unveil the plaque before Newtongrange Primary School pupil, Cerys Hares, 11, presents Her Majesty with a posy. Cerys is the winner of her school’s Borders Railway poster competition.

The Royal party will then re-board the train at approximately 11:15am and the train will continue its journey to Tweedbank in the Scottish Borders.

See the steam train from a safe vantage point

While closed to vehicles, Newtongrange Station car park will be open to the public who want to watch the ceremony on the day from the public viewing areas. Stewards will be on hand at the station and will also be on the bridge above the station on the A7. Council staff will be at all 28 railway bridges and crossings on the day in Midlothian.

The main bridges are at:

  • Shawfair Station
  • King’s Gate, near Sheriffhall roundabout
  • Melville Road, Dalkeith
  • Bonnyrigg Road, Dalkeith
  • Lasswade Road, Dalkeith
  • Murdendean Road, Newtongrange
  • Brewers’ Bush, Newtongrange
  • Lady Brae, Gorebridge
  • Station Road, Gorebridge.

There will be road closures and parking restrictions on the day as the A7 will be closed between Newtongrange Main Street junction and Dalhousie Road from shortly before 09:00 on Wednesday 9 September until around mid-day.

Parking restrictions will also be in place on the A6106 at King’s Gate, Elginhaugh, Dalkeith, near Eskbank roundabout and Butlerfield in Newtongrange.

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