A new rail link between Carlisle and Edinburgh could be a “catalyst” for job creation in north Cumbria, a lobby group has said.

In its report - “Summary Case for a New Cross-Border Rail Link” - the Campaign for Borders Rail (CBR) says reopening the former Waverley Route would help to reconnect a number of towns that have been left isolated by poor transport links.

A section of the line, which was closed in 1969, was reopened in 2015 between Edinburgh and Tweedbank. The CBR is pushing for the line to be extended to Carlisle via the Mossband junction, north of the city.

Under its proposals, a station at Longtown would also be reopened with a park and ride service.

Local buses would connect the line with Langholm, while a station would be opened at Newcastleton.

Based on the cost of extending the line to Tweedbank in 2012, the CBR says that extending the Borders Railway to Carlisle would cost £644m.

In its list of project benefits, the CBR says it would enhance employment opportunities in north Cumbria.

The summary said: “A new rail link to Edinburgh via the Borders could be a catalyst for the development of new employment uses on the former MOD land at Longtown and in the Kingstown area on the northern fringe of Carlisle.

“Park and ride stations in these areas would provide congestion relief and improve access to the city.”

Allan McLean, chairman of the CBR, said: “This document will help inform the debate on preparing for the proposed railway through the Scottish Borders to Carlisle and beyond.

"The economies of Edinburgh, Midlothian and the northern Borders have all gained demonstrably from the opening of the Borders Railway. Now it is time for Hawick and other communities in the southern Borders to benefit directly.”

The report has been presented to Scotland's Minister for Transport and the Islands, Humza Yousaf.

With regards to cost, it added: “The 2012-15 Borders Railway reinstatement provides a useful benchmark for an outline cost appraisal.

“On this basis, the capital cost for the 56-mile Tweedbank-Mossband junction phase would be £644m at 2012 prices.”