THE new Borders Railway has attracted 125,000 passengers since in launched in September.

There have been 125,971 passenger journeys since the new Edinburgh-Tweedbank service opened to the public on Sunday September 6.

Demand for the service has forced ScotRail to add extra carriages after complaints that some commuters were forced to stand throughout the hour-long journey while others at intermediate stations were unable to board because the trains were already too busy.

The service has attracted students, commuters, tourist travellers and rail enthusiasts.

In addition to the regular passenger services, special steam trains have also been running on the line to celebrate the Borders Railway launch. The steam journeys, which are running three times a week until October 18, are completely sold out and will carry an additional 6,200 passengers.

Phil Verster, managing director of the ScotRail Alliance, said: “The incredible interest in the Borders Railway over the first few weeks highlights what a remarkable achievement has been made by the opening of the new line.

“By helping to create new opportunities for the people of the Scottish Borders, Midlothian and Edinburgh, this line better connects the regions and benefits both the local people and the local economy.

“There is a great future ahead for Scotland’s railways, and the Borders Railway is an exciting part of that.”

The £294 million railway was opened 46 years and eight months to the day since its predecessor - the Waverley Line - was axed as part of the Beeching cuts.

It has led campaigners to call for other lost routes to be reinstated.

Minister for Transport and Islands, Derek Mackay, said: “The historic reopening of the Borders Railway has clearly captured people’s interest and I am delighted to see the soaraway success of services and impressive passenger numbers.

“It is particularly good to see the Borders and Midlothian reap the benefits of being reconnected to Scotland’s rail network after an absence of almost half a century."

Councillor David Parker, Leader of Scottish Borders Council, said he had been "taken aback" by the popularity of the Borders Railway.