VOLUNTEERS who led a 17-year campaign for the return of the Borders Railway have accused ministers of "rewriting history" and taking the credit for the re-opening of the track.

Members of the Campaign for Borders Railway (CRB) said their efforts to re-open the 30-mile track had been largely ignored by those at Holyrood.

They expressed concern that history would view the Scottish Government as the main driving force behind the project and asked for ministers to give "due recognition" to the thousands of volunteers on the front line.

On September 6, the line which runs from Edinburgh to Tweedbank, will be officially opened by The Queen and services will once again run through Midlothian to the Borders.

However, Transport Scotland said the volunteers' role was fully recognised and would be marked with a special day of celebrations some time next month.

CRB Chairman Simon Longland said: "The key role played by community campaigners in the return of trains to the Borders should be properly acknowledged by the political establishment.

"There is a danger that history [will be] rewritten so that the current Scottish Government gets all the credit for the Borders Railway, while the absolutely crucial role of unpaid grassroots campaigners over a 17-year period is forgotten."

The CBR argues that the opening of the Borders Railway next month is "one of the greatest achievements of grassroots rail campaigning in British history".

Allan McLean, the group's Scottish parliamentary officer, added: "Hundreds of activists have dedicated tens of thousands of unpaid hours to the campaign over that 17-year period...[They] should get their due recognition when the Borders Railway opens."

A spokesman for Transport Scotland said: “It is a great honour for us that Her Majesty has chosen to mark the milestone of becoming the longest serving monarch by leading the celebrations for the opening of the Borders Railway.

"The people of the Borders and Midlothian have waited almost half a century to see the return of their railway and it is fitting that these two such historic events coincide."

She added: “This will be a double celebration and we are also ensuring that the people who have campaigned, worked hard and shown such patience throughout this process are able to play a full part in the celebrations, with a separate day dedicated just to them.

"We have acknowledged the grass roots campaign throughout and are more than willing to discuss this matter with them if they bring their concerns to us direct."