Book: The Spirit of the Borders Railway

Bruce Ball

Review by David Spaven

Bruce Ball's The Spirit of the Borders Railway is a highly personal tale of “The people and the stories behind the return of this lost line”. Self-published at a price of £9 (plus postage and packing), it extends to 90 pages and has some 55 illustrations, the large majority of which are photos taken by the author immediately prior to and during the construction of the Borders Railway and over its first two years of operation. Any profits from sale of the book will go to the Campaign for Borders Rail and the ScotRail Foundation.

Five chapters cover ‘The Old Waverley Route’, ‘The promise of restoration, ‘Restoration’, ‘The new railway’ and ‘The future of the railway’. The book is liberally supplied with anecdotes and reflections, perhaps the most eye-catching of which – accompanied by a striking map – is a commentary on the possible implications for the railway corridor of unmitigated climate change:

‘A worst case scenario of the consequences on the British Isles of a 100m sea level rise by 2100 would make the Southern Uplands much more important for accommodating our population. In this situation (admittedly rather unlikely) the restored Waverley Route would be a key corridor linking the coastal communities of Gorebridge and Riddings Junction.’
One suspects this is an argument which has not previously occurred to the Campaign for Borders Rail!

Spirit of the Borders Railway

Campaign for Borders Rail
ScotRail Foundation