No change at Newcraighall station

Network Rail would be most surprised to learn from Malcolm Ross (letters, February 24) that Waverley Station is, in his words, “currently full” and that this, by implication, is a reason that will affect the operation of the Borders railway from August 2014 onward.

At present the rolling stock of trains originating at Newcraighall is pathed to pass through Waverley and then continue onward via the Forth Bridge to work the Fife Circle service and vice versa. The service to and from Tweedbank will be merely a prolongation of that and will have absolutely no effect on the current level of track occupancy at Waverley and Haymarket.

Mr Ross’s contention that it is “likely” that passengers will have to change at Newcraighall is, at best, based upon a misunderstanding or, at worst, comes from mischief-making by the anti-rail lobby.

Mr Ross may also consider seeking assurances from candidates standing for the forthcoming Holyrood elections that their parties are prepared to guarantee that free bus passes for the over-60s will still be available in 2014.

Richard Crockett

(vice-chair, Campaign for Borders Rail)

Malcolm Ross (letters, February 24) is way off beam – passengers from the Borders will not need to change trains at Newcraighall to continue their journey to Edinburgh, nor will the only passengers be daily commuters.

As city parking becomes more difficult and both the A7 and A68 more congested, folk will move over to the railways.

In Scotland many seniors do travel by rail, despite being entitled to free bus travel. The qualifying age at present is 60, but with the retiral age being raised maybe the entitlement threshold will also rise to say 62.

Trains offer quicker journeys and among other benefits have clean toilet facilities and cycle space. The railway of today bears no comparison with the diesel-hauled railways of the 1960s.

Colin C. Maclean

Hillpark Avenue

Edinburgh

I wonder what sort of dictionary Jim Gibson uses (letters, February 24)?

Mine defines the verb to elect as “to select by vote”. Christine Grahame was not selected by the vote of the electorate, hence by definition is unelected.

The mythical Duns family of four travelling from Berwick, instead of Galashiels, to Edinburgh would today have to pay a return rail fare of £80. Does Mr Gibson actually believe that people will pay that sort of money when they can do the journey by car for less than a quarter of the cost of the rail fare?

There is one easy way to determine the level of support for the railway. On the ballot paper for the May 5 election, add a line asking the question: “Do you want the Borders railway, yes or no?”

The railway fanatics will give a million reasons why this is not feasible. After all the last thing they need is objective evidence that the majority of Borderers do not want the railway.

Of course, following Mr Gibson’s logic, a minority vote in favour would mean that we elected to have the railway.

Ollie Young

East Gordon