Three committee meetings have taken place since the last report appeared. In June we met in Fortrose, in September we were at Kinbrace and in November in Inverness. The following is a synopsis of those 3 meetings.
Each meeting was given an update on membership. The list is now held on computer to assist the monitoring of lapsed members, and the production of labels. The membership list has been divided into geographical areas and each area is the responsibility of some committee members. A membership card is ready for 1999 - 2000. The committee aims to encourage the support of Community Councils adjacent to the line.
The updating of the Constitution of the Society is under consideration and members will be kept informed of progress.
Matters relating to ScotRail, freight and Railtrack are amongst a wide variety of topics that have been considered. An incident of trespassing on the railway highlighted the importance of safety. We hope that the Travelling Classroom will go a long way towards improving this situation. The proposed Inverness Cross Rail Link Road is causing the committee concern. The possibility of re-opening a station at Beauly has been reviewed as are the plans for the footpath on the Shin Viaduct. Dingwall Commuter train loadings are holding steady with Muir of Ord providing the larger numbers of passengers.
Wagon load freight continues to cause the committee concern, but some improvements are in sight. Further improvements to the Newsletter are being considered. A Publicity leaflet was produced for the Highland Railway Heritage steam runs.
Little progress has been made with the Cycle Campaign. Approaches have been, and are still being made with a view of making this a marketable area of the line to encourage more passenger traffic.
Reports are given on matters relating to Highland Railway Heritage and Highland Rail Partnership. The planning and execution of the Steam Excursion created a great deal of work for those closely involved. It is to their credit that the excursion over the main section of the Far North Line was so successful and so well received by the supporters at the lineside. Conversely, the cancellation of the Thurso - Wick shuttles was a disappointment.