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13 Jan 2016
Borders Railway
Newtongrange – we’re connected by Scotrail!

It's not just local tourist businesses that are seeing the benefits of the long awaited new Borders Railway. The long awaited rail link formerly known as the Waverley Line was re-opened in September last year after 46 years (when it was closed in 1969).

Here at Portfolio Oomph business is good and has been made even better by this new transport mechanism. Students come from as far afield as Stirling and Perth to use our mentoring and private art lessons service, one of a kind in Scotland. January is a busy time of year for prospective art students and Portfolio Oomph as deadlines for digital portfolios are at the end of January.

What we  offer is a niche service supporting students in how to make an art portfolio for college or university. Predominately it's students who are aged 17/18 who are either relying on public transport or the taxi of Mum and Dad! We've had a number of students from Portbello, Musselburgh also the Borders and this once posed a long bus journey into Edinburgh and out again.

Students who've used Portfolio Oomph's services have gone on to study at Heriot Watt School of Fashion and Textiles and Edinburgh College of Art amongst other places. The train line opens up possibilities to access Edinburgh for galleries and other cultural events from the Borders towns and villages like Newtongrange but easing the access to these services is paramount for economical development outwith Edinburgh.

Preparing to go to university or art college is just the start of a life a little more independent and by opening up the travel possibilities to our studio and services this is a good start. Jumping on the train at Brunstane to Newtongrange addresses the problems sometimes experienced of travelling across the Lothians and it's increased our accessibility substantially.

The service is very well used, standing room only at peak times, then most rail services in the UK are like that I suppose!

Even if you're not visiting Portfolio Oomph for art portfolio ideas I urge you to take a wee trip out on the Borders Railway down to Tweedbank. The scenery is stunning, with a quick stop off at Galashiels as the Heriot watt School of Fashion and Textiles too. These students, I am sure, are delighted to have such better connections with the capital.

We even had our new station opened by HRH Queen Elizabeth! #MyBordersRailway

HRH Queen Elizabeth at Borders Railway, Newtongrange

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