scotland (4K)
The Friends of the Far North Line
Cairdean Na Loine Tuath
the campaign group for rail north of Inverness - lobbying for improved services for the local user, tourist and freight operator


Franchise News

Abellio's ScotRail website features a "manifesto" for the future of ScotRail services. This excerpt gives an indication of the way they are thinking.

We have put together a clear plan which will make sure your journeys are quicker, more comfortable, more reliable, better value, and easier - not just when travelling on the train, but throughout your entire trip from door to door. In short, we have re-thought the ScotRail service to make sure it is in tune with the way you have told us you want to live whether travelling to work, on business, visiting friends and family or to enjoy the great outdoors.

On routes between Scotland's seven cities, we will introduce faster, more spacious trains with more carriages and new onboard facilities. We will also speed up journeys elsewhere on the ScotRail network by sharpening timetables and improving connections between our services wherever there is an opportunity to do so.

We are particularly looking forward to the intended speeding up of the timetable as well as the improved connections. This is of particular interest in Inverness where the station layout currently forces passengers to/from the FNL who are connecting with some services on the Highland Main Line to Perth and the South or services to Aberdeen to come through the new ticket barriers twice - a very time-consuming process. Any improvement to connections must involve the addressing of this issue.

FoFNL has produced a policy document setting out our aspirations and recommendations for Network Rail to include in its planning for Control Period 6 (CP6) 2019-2024.

Following the AGM FoFNL's new Secretary is Malcolm Wood who may be contacted at The position of Convener is still vacant. Ian Budd, who currently runs this site, is going to be Acting Newsletter Editor for the January issue on a trial basis. Ian can be contacted at

If you have any comments or require any information please contact FoFNL by E-mail

Welcome to the Friends of The Far North Line

The Friends of the Far North Line is the campaign group for rail north of Inverness, lobbying for improved services for local users, tourists and freight.

Our website will give you an insight to FoFNL's successes and concerns. You will find a complete collection of newsletters dating back to 1998 as well as an archive of interesting documents.

This is a map of the Far North Line which is situated in the northernmost part of Scotland. Hovering the pointer over the name of a station will display a local photo.

Our aims include:

  1. The continued retention and improvement of the line from Inverness to Wick/Thurso.
  2. The development of services for local residents and tourists alike.
  3. Enhancement of freight services.
  4. Publicising the line, its attractions and potential.
  5. Liaison with local groups to foster interest in the line.
  6. Liaison with ScotRail, statutory bodies and tourism authorities.
  7. The use of the line by heritage trains.

Our 1995 conference for rail interests was the precursor of the Highland Rail Partnership a collaborative body spanning the Council, Highlands and Islands Enterprise, local Enterprise companies, rail operators, the Friends Groups and others.

Achievements include the Easter Ross commuter train, Beauly and Conon Bridge stations, all-year Sunday trains, initiating the re-introduction of significant freight, the transporting of extremely long lengths of pipe to Wick, and the building of a footbridge alongside the Shin Viaduct. A substantial increase in freight is still needed and we will continue to persuade haulage contractors that there is an alternative to driving long distances over inadequate roads.

We continue to seek shortened journey times and hourly services between Inverness and Tain. We aim to work in partnerships, we publish a thrice yearly Newsletter, we are democratically governed through our AGM and a geographically representative committee.


If you would like to join The Friends of The Far North Line please download, print out and complete the application form. If you prefer, you can phone our Membership Secretary on +44 (0)1334 475311. Annual membership is only 12 UK pounds (10 for concessions).

Office Bearers


Rt. Hon. John Thurso M.P.

Vice President:

John Melling


Hon. Secretary:

Malcolm George Wood

Hon. Treasurer:

David Start
29, Ethelwulf Road
BN14 7NF

Membership Secretary:

Angus Stewart
36 Learmonth Place
St Andrews
KY16 8XF

Newsletter Editor:


Committee Members:

Bob Barnes-Watts, Inverness
Iain Macdonald, Alness
Richard Ardern, Inverness
Stewart Campbell, Alness
Sandy Colley, Culloden

A selection of Far North Line photos can be found here.

The photo of Culrain station was taken by Peter Van Den Bossche and the photo of Altnabreac by Dennis Troughton. Both are used under the Creative Commons Licence.

The European



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