Report of the committee meeting held on 14th May at Mackay's Hotel, Wick.
Apologies were received from John Melling, Stewart Campbell and Roger Piercy. Richard Ardern chaired the meeting which agreed the minutes of the previous meeting with minor amendments.
Matters relating to the Highland Rail Partnership were touched on but in the absence of John Melling the discussion was limited.
The hope was expressed that the distribution of the last newsletter would elicit more correspondence from members and MSPs but at the time of the meeting none had been forthcoming. Maureen Macmillan MSP will be thanked for her support for the Invernet project.
A letter from Peter Cotton, ScotRail MD indicated that 170s are not cleared for use on this line and the position will be clarified as to how many 158s will remain after the introduction of extra 170s and if 156s will return to the north.
The reference to the closure of Invershin in the January 2003 issue of the newsletter provoked a correspondence with an assurance being given that there was no current campaign by FoFNL to close Invershin.
Our Policy Document on passenger service had been sent to all those interested in bidding for the new Franchise and FoFNL would respond quickly to any requests for further consultation.
The Treasurer's report was approved and the membership was discussed because numbers are still not what we would hope for. Under AOCB the subject of merchandising was discussed.
During lunch an informal discussion took place with members of the Wick Community Council.
Report of the committee meeting held on the 10th September at Lairg station.
Apologies were received from Stewart Campbell and Ron Stevenson. The minutes of the 2002 AGM and the previous meeting were agreed, and the arrangements for the 2003 AGM were finalised. Representation at the Highland Rail Partnership was discussed as was the future of the Invernet project. In the absence of Frank Roach there was only brief discussion on Freight. Three committee members attended the RPC meeting in Elgin and reported back to the committee.
Having met with ScotRail to discuss our Policy Document the two remaining Franchise bidders will be approached again and offered a meeting.
The financial and membership situations are satisfactory.
The recent publication of the "Iron Roads to the Far North and Kyle" prompted a discussion on FoFNL's policy towards merchandising. It was decided that we would only stock copies of the book for members to purchase and the Driver's eye view video.