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Symington, William Stuart, 1901-88, U.S. Senator (1953-76), b. Amherst, Mass. He interrupted a successful business career in 1941 to accept a War Department assignment involving a study of airplane armament in England. After serving (1945-46) as administrator of the Surplus Property Administration he was appointed (Sept., 1947) by President Harry S. Truman to be the first Secretary of the Air Force. He advocated a greatly increased air force as necessary for national defense, and when appropriations for his department were reduced he resigned (Apr., 1950) in protest. After serving (1951-52) as administrator of the Reconstruction Finance Corporation, Symington, a Democrat, was elected in 1952 as U.S. Senator for Missouri. In his early years in the Senate, he was mainly preoccupied with the question of national defense and warned the nation of the danger of the Soviet lead in the missile race. Symington was easily reelected to the Senate in 1958, 1964, and 1970; in 1960 he was an unsuccessful candidate for the Democratic presidential nomination.

See biography by P. I. Wellman (1960).

The Symington, Biggar and Broughton Railway Company was a railway in southern Scotland. It was later absorbed by the Caledonian Railway, and is now closed. It competed for a period with the North British Railway's "Peebles-shire Express".


The line left the Caledonian Railway Main Line (now the West Coast Main Line) at Symington, and passed through Biggar and Broughton; it was later extended to reach Peebles West. Intermediate stations were built at Stobo and Lyne.

There was an engine shed at Broughton, which was demolished when the line was extended to Peebles, and the Neidpath Viaduct built between Lyne and Peebles still stands and is used as a footbridge over the River Tweed. The nearby Neidpath Tunnel was used as a refuge during World War II.


Royal assent for the line was granted on 21 May 1858, and the railway was opened from Symington to Broughton on 5 November 1860. A extension to Peebles was authorised on 3 July 1860. In August 1861 the company was absorbed by the much larger Caledonian Railway. The extended line was opened into the new station at Peebles on 1 February 1864; necessitating the viaduct and tunnel at Neidpath.

The "Tinto Express" operated services on the line to Edinburgh in competition with the "Peebles-shire Express"; as the journey was longer, the service was sold with an emphasis on comfort rather than speed. Services to Glasgow were faster than those of their competitors.

The Talla Railway was a reservoir construction line which briefly operated from Rachan Junction (near Broughton). The line was doubled from Broughton to there in 1895 in connection with this.

The North British Railway built a line connecting the new station to their existing station in Peebles (formerly the Peebles Railway). This connecting line was called the "Caledonian Branch".

Along with the rest of the Caledonian network, it was absorbed into the London, Midland and Scottish Railway under Grouping in 1923, and then into British Rail in 1948.

The line from Peebles to Symington was closed to passengers on 6 June 1950, from Peebles West to Broughton closed on 7 June 1954, and the final closure (from Symington to Broughton) was on 4 April 1966. The section of the old line between Broughton and Biggar (starting beyond the coal yard in Broughton) is used as a footpath.

Current operations

As of 2008, a feasibility study is to be undertaken to examine the possibility of reopening Symington station or building a new station in the vicinity, in order to provide the town of Biggar with a rapid public transport service to Glasgow.



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