Off track

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I see the noble Lord, David Steel, predicts a tourist boom in the Borders by dint of his clever suggestion to call the terminus of the unstoppable Borders Railway “Tweedbank-Abbotsford” (Letters, 27 June).

Sir Walter Scott’s best novel, Ivanhoe, is now being given away electronically, but is virtually unread by the public.

One of the few reviewers said: “The writing is a bit long-winded and over-descriptive, which is at times a bit boring; when you consider how old the book is, this is only to be expected from the style of writing used at that time.”

Not much there to justify 
£353 million capital cost (original estimate: £72m) and £5m potential annual losses for 30 years (seemingly perpetual actually, like Scott’s paragraphs) of the Borders section of the line.

Audit Scotland’s recent report on the continuing black hole in this – now officially – high-risk project makes for more immediate fiction, alas, than anything from the pen of Sir Walter.

Peter Smaill