PART IV

eighteen months later, in November 1859, the SB & B company applied to Parliament for a Bill to extend its as yet uncompleted Broughton line by 11.25 miles to Peebles. Also, that same November, Richard Hodgson, chairman of the North British Railway, who had been assiduously courting the Peebles Railway, promoted two Parliamentary Bills, the first for a Galashiels, Innerleithen and Peebles Railway and the second for an Innerleithen & Peebles Railway.

Reading between the lines of Hodgson's course of action, one comes to the conclusion that if the first Bill for the full line failed, the second one for the much smaller part had some chance of succeeding on its own, and that whilst the extension of the Peebles Railway to Innerleithen would hardly on its own be considered a commercially viable proposition, it would fulfil the North British Railway's prime objective, namely the preclusion of a further extension of the Broughton line beyond Peebles. As it turned out only the application for the Bill for the line right through to Galashiels went forward.

To Hodgson's dismay it was thrown out by a casting vote in the House of Commons after being twice unsuccessfully opposed in the Lords, the case having been lost in the Commons on grounds of likely residential damage. This was the hand of the Caledonian's supporters at work, the Symington, Biggar and Broughton directors having made a public pledge that if the Bill was defeated they would extend their line to Galashiels. This company had actually lodged petitions as far away as Wishaw, Carluke and Douglas as well as on the Peebles Railway's doorstep in Peebles and Eddleston.

To the rapture of those in the Caledonian camp the Peebles Extension of the Symington, Biggar and Broughton Railway received the Royal Assent on 3 July 1860 (21 & 22 Vic. Cap. XV), just four months before the line was opened to traffic between Symington and Broughton on 5 November. The North British chairman hastily set about putting together a new Bill the following year for the incorporation of the Galashiels and Peebles Railway with powers to construct a line from a junction with the NB's Hawick line just north of Galashiels to a junction with the Peebles Railway's line just north of its terminal station.

This time round, however, the two railway giants, realising somewhat belatedly that continuing competition was both expensive and essentially unproductive, had come to an agreement that the North British would include in its proposals the construction of a

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