(What's really happening - 70 005 at Bristol Parson Street 21.6.2011 copyright Steve Sainsbury)
This month's Railfuture Rail User Express carries a feature on the Ayr-Stranraer line. It mentions that Stena is switching its ferry service from Stranraer to Cairnryan soon and, to quote -
When one considers that the Stranraer line provides the only rail link with the other part of the UK Scotland has a direct connection with – Northern Ireland – it seems strange in this era of climate change that the Scottish Government is overseeing the continual run down of the Stranraer line. It may now only be a matter of time before the railway to Stranraer is closed. The Stockton Haulage Yard has been taken out of use and the Stranraer Town Yard offered for sale.
What utter rubbish! No railway is ever going to close again in the UK, or anywhere else for that matter, and this is plain, ignorant scaremongering. If anything not only will this existing route flourish but the line to Cairnryan will eventually reopen (it was a military route) and also the far more important Stranraer to Dumfries line, amazingly closed in 1965 even though it was the direct route to Stranraer.
Note that the quote only mentions Climate Change and totally ignores Peak Oil! Are the Scots really that far behind? I don't think so.
Rail closures were a 50s, 60s and 70s thing. That was FORTY years ago. Since then lines have reopened (particularly in Scotland!) as have hundreds of stations. It is idiotic to talk of closure - whilst the shipping route across to Larne will almost certainly survive Peak Oil the roads definitely won't, so the ONLY way to get to Stranraer will be by rail.
Rail supporters' groups should NEVER employ this tactic. It is forty years out of date and only serves to set up a feeling of hopelessness which will hardly bring activists in. And not to mention Peak Oil is unbelievable in 2011.
I look forward to travelling to Stranraer and Cairnryan by train in 2031 and afterwards I'll travel up to Ayr and Glasgow to travel on Glasgow's high speed trams!