Future proofing

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Campaigners have been arguing for some time that Transport Scotland’s cuts to the specification of the Borders Railway would cause future capacity and development problems for the new line. So, the news that Network Rail has expressed concerns about these short-sighted economies (your report, 30 April) comes as no surprise.

It is not too late to do something about it.

The new single-track bridges on the line are mostly in place already, and will be a constraint to rail services for the foreseeable future.

However, provision has been made in the construction contract to allow for the future 
addition of an extra two miles of double-track loop between Newbattle viaduct and the Gore Glen bridge.

Transport Scotland should act now to secure the installation of this loop as part of the main contract, before work starts on track-laying and signalling.

With this loop installed from the outset, and a two-platform station at Newtongrange, there would at least be some extra built-in capacity for the line from day one.

It would be better to meet that cost now to ensure a more reliable railway, thus avoiding much higher costs and disruption to services in a few years’ time.

Robert Drysdale

Primrose Bank Road

Edinburgh

John Munro (Letters, 30 April) infers that people remain loyal to bus travel even when new rail services are provided. Wrong.

Thousands have switched to rail since Larkhall, Alloa and 
Airdrie/Bathgate have reopened.

Bus travel may suit some, but stand in North Hanover Street in his city (Glasgow) and witness the amount of diesel pollution from queues of buses.

Just below is the soon to be electrified Queen Street High Level station, offering even more frequent and faster services to a multitude of destinations.

Colin C Maclean

Hillpark Avenue

Edinburgh