REGARDING Frances McKie's comments on a Dumfries to Cairnryan railway line (Letters, September 16), neither the ferries nor the terminals at Cairnryan have facilities for container-only handling, so considerable private investment would be required to take that traffic. The old railway line from Dumfries to Stranraer was about 70 miles long and for all that Dumfries and Galloway is relatively sparsely populated there has been a fair loss of the old track bed property. Bearing in mind the cost of the Waverley line at £9.8 million per mile, that would equate to just shy of £686m for the 70-mile stretch, not including the line to Cairnryan which would most likely only be able to access one of the terminals. The sums involved are based on 2012 costings.

The railway harbour station was closed at Stranraer partly because of the desire to shorten the sea crossing and improve the terminal but also foot passenger traffic is relatively small and can still be accommodated on the Glasgow line through Ayrshire and then by shuttle bus from Stranraer.

George Dale, Beith.

Online costs

HIGH Street shops are closing because more goods are being bought online. A lady may choose clothes online and try them on and send them back as they do not fit. She may repeat this several times. This entails delivery vans polluting the atmosphere.

If High Street shops were open she could make one visit, select several dresses, try them on and choose on the spot. Think of all the other type of goods that used to be bought in shops and how much closing them down is actually harmful to the atmosphere.

Catherine Murray, Largs.