Turf Blog 09-03-23

Turf zone – GoreBridgeSt

Yes folks, yet another Planet Gary unofficial turfing medal has been devised. It’s called the Borders Railway medal and requires you to take all the railway station zones dotted along the Borders Railway line between Edinburgh and Tweedbank. There are nine in total. I’ve not included Edinburgh Waverley station as the train does not pass through the zone. And that’s a hint at the challenge you are facing. You should only take the zones “from inside the train”. You are not permitted to leave the train to take any of the zones.

And that’s also the fun part. You will need to position yourself on the train in the best possible compartment with the highest likelihood of ending up inside the zone. Of course, if you are seated outside the zone when the train stops, you will need to move accordingly, quite possibly with some haste. The train journey takes about one hour and its worth noting that the train may stop at the smaller stations for only a few minutes, so you need to be on the ball. The railway station zones are:

  • Brunstane
  • Newcraighall
  • Shawfair
  • Eskbank
  • Newtongrange
  • GorebridgeSt
  • Stow
  • GalashielsSt
  • TweedbankSt

Okay, ready for the challenge? First hint is to travel at the busiest times, such as holiday weekends or during commuting times, when the train potentially stops at the stations for the longest periods of time as more people embark or disembark. It might also be a good idea to carry out a reccy at a few stations and see how long the train stops for. Also where the trains actually stop in relation to the zones and which carriages are the most likely ones to choose.

I can imagine the scene where you are actively taking the zone when the train starts to move and you have to walk quickly to the back of the train to stay in the zone. Should be good for a laugh. And, if you have a return ticket, you get two chances at each zone. Finally, not having actually tried this myself out in the field, or rather on the rails, there is a chance that it may not actually be possible but might be fun trying anyway.

There are plenty of zones in Tweedbank and Melrose for the taking, with some good one sin the Eildon Hills, which makes the journey more worthwhile. Good luck and enjoy your visit to the Scottish Borders.

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