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

ScotRail Press Releases


ScotRail is to run as a commercial venture throughout the 2001/2 winter a first-ever year-round Sunday train each way between Wick, Thurso and Inverness on a trial use-it-or-lose-it basis.

Likely timings would maximise journey opportunities for people taking the train in either direction to return from a weekend away. Connections would be available at Inverness from Glasgow, Edinburgh and Aberdeen to the North - and from the North to Glasgow, Edinburgh, Edinburgh and the Caledonian Sleeper service to London.

The new service will call at the usual intermediate stations plus the reopened Beauly Station.

ScotRail Managing Director, Alastair McPherson says "We are delighted to be able to respond from many requests by the Friends of the Far North Line and other community representatives by introducing at our own risk this winter Sunday service for the Far North."

The service is likely to leave Thurso/Wick around 13.30 - 14.00 arriving in Inverness around 17.30 with the northward journey commencing at about 18.30, giving an arrival at Thurso/Wick near 22.00. This service is very good news for residents of the Far North in that it at last allows students etc. to travel home in the North for the weekend. It also brings to an end the stranding of passengers in the North for the Sunday at the start of the winter timetable, passengers who had not realised that they didn't have complete freedom in travelling South on the day of their choice.


To address the problems of cycle demand on the Far North Line ScotRail will again be operating a Cycle Van road vehicle. The van will run at the same time as the 1125 train departure ex Inverness and the 1618 train departure ex Wick.

The van will operate during the summer timetable on Mondays to Saturdays inclusive. Bookings for the 10 cycle spaces is compulsory and there will be pick-up and drop-off point at Ardgay.


For the months of May and June one and half million people in Scotland aged 55 and over will be able to travel anywhere in Scotland for £12. For an extra £4 the new Club 55 Premier ticket offers First Class comfort. The only 'catch' is that all Club 55 tickets have to be purchased no later than 18.00 on the day before outward travel. With seats subject to availability, early booking is recommended.


The full Caledonian Sleeper service is now back in action. "This is great news," says ScotRail Managing Director Alastair McPherson. "Our Sleeper business has been devastated by the post-Hatfield traumas and we have a mountain to climb to win passengers back to the 'Sleeper habit'. We are not yet running at pre-Hatfield timings but the Sleepers are back to stay."