NETWORK Rail has announced that it cannot afford to make good all of the railway cuttings in the UK that are similar to the site of tragic accident that took place at Stonehaven, resulting in the loss of three lives. This is contained in the report that the Department of Transport requested.

I have also read previously that Network Rail is a major contributor to the interruptions to the ScotRail “on time” and cancellation metrics, for which Abellio have received heavy criticism.

Erratic and unseasonal weather has occurred, and it seems Network Rail are doing what they can to try to mitigate the effects, using helicopter surveys and meteorological early warnings.

READ MORE: Stonehaven train crash: Network Rail admits it can't afford track repairs

I fear that all this will do is lead to more cancellations across the network, due to potential landslips, which is of course is right and proper, erring on the side of caution.

It would seem sensible to put a halt on HS2 and divert these funds into restoring the existing Victorian infrastructure, which by all accounts is ready to collapse. See the recent canal which breached its walls and flooded a major centre.

Railway tunnels that were built in the 1800s could probably also do with an overhaul. It has long been a desire to upgrade the Aberdeen-to-Inverness line, and I can recall the dualling of the track from Inverness to Wick/Thurso.

The HS2 project is gobbling UK Government borrowed finance at a tremendous rate, which we Scots contribute towards. I understand that HS2 maybe a good project for England eventually, but despite statements from Department for Transport ministers, the benefit further north will minimal. Those monies would be better spent on sorting the rail infrastructure north of the Border.

Alistair Ballantyne
Birkhill, Angus