Rail Matters to Muir! "The Great Train Day"
Muir of Ord Community Association and ScotRail pulled out all the stops to celebrate the sesquicentenary of the opening of the line from Inverness to Dingwall in June 1862. They jointly staged a railway day on Saturday 16 June.
It was discovered that the majority of the children in Tarradale and Mulbuie primary schools had never been on a train. ScotRail arranged a four-coach special to Inverness and back for 150 youngsters and fixed the points so that it could leave from and return to the Up Loop next to the station car park. On the way back ice cream was served and the train was met by the local pipe band.
Former Councillor and FoFNL member David Martin unveiled a plaque to mark the occasion at a ceremony presided over by Jerry Farquharson, Business Planning Director at ScotRail. David was the Highland Secretary of SAPT, the Scottish Association for Public Transport, and had been involved in getting the station reopened in 1976 after its closure in 1960.
Tarradale School was buzzing all day with a series of exhibitions and a model railway display as well as a lovely food cafe. Exhibitors included the Highland Railway Society (HRS), the Strathspey Railway Association and Glenfinnan Station Museum, and there were local displays on the railway history of the Muir and the cattle droving history which preceded the railway.
Two new books were launched: Keith Fenwick's well illustrated The Inverness and Rossshire Railway, published by the HRS, and Malcolm Bangor-Jones's self-published The Making of the Railway from Inverness to Dingwall, which includes some colourful stories of the navvies.
Mention should also be made of Brian Thom, who was immaculately dressed as The Thin Controller, and of Ken Howie, who masterminded the whole day. It is important, too, to note that the community has now joined the Adopt a Station Scheme, with planters donated by Glen Ord Distillery being tended on the platforms. The profile of the railway has certainly been raised amongst all age groups. Well done to all the community stalwarts and to ScotRail for a most enjoyable day!