16 February 2015
John Finnie (Highlands and Islands) (Independent): To ask the Scottish Government how many major disruptions there have been on the Far North railway line in each (a) quarter of each of the last five years and (b) of the last six months; what the nature was of each disruption, and what impact each had on passenger numbers.
Mr Derek Mackay MSP:
(a) The number of major disruptions on the Far North Railway line in each quarter of the last five years has been as follows:
(b) The number of major disruptions in each of the last six months has been as follows:
By month, 2014 (last six months, including where an emergency timetable has been implemented):
(c) The nature of each disruption is listed as follows. The impact each had on passenger numbers is not recorded.
Listing only 2014 incidents here to save space.
Thursday 3 October 2013
Ardgay to Inverness services lost time in running causing 264 delay minutes and 0 full/part cancellations.
Wednesday 9 October 2013
Train at Dingwall lost time in running resulting in 205 delay minutes and 2 full/part cancellations.
Friday 11 October 2013
Train at Dingwall lost time in running resulting in 379 delay minutes and 0 full/part cancellations.
Thursday 5th December 2013
Severe storm incident: Network Rail invoked a Key Route Strategy, which meant no service on many routes and severely reduced service on the rest.
Thursday 16th January
Broken rail at Ardgay (near Tain), 248 delay-minutes and 2 part-cancellations.
Friday 14th March
Emergency speed restriction between Dingwall and Invergordon, 245 delay-minutes and 3 part-cancellations.
Monday 19th May
Train fault at Inverness, 213 delay-minutes and 2 full-cancellations.
Tuesday 1st July
Tractor on the line at Brora, 8 full- or part-cancellations and 28 delay-minutes.
Tuesday 12th August
There was disruption to services on the Highland Main Line and Aberdeen-Inverness, because of weather conditions leading to significant flooding.
Wednesday 1st October
Far North Line: Driver lost time between Lairg and Tain resulting late arrival to Inverness and reactionary delays. 211 delay minutes.
Friday 3rd October
Far North Line: Radio communication lost between Ardlui and Tain, 234 delay minutes and 3 full or part cancellations.
Friday 31st October
Points failure at Inverness 250 delay-minutes and 2 full- or part-cancellations.
There seems to be a discrepancy between table (a) last two quarters of 2014 total 5 "major disruptions" and table (b) which shows 33 "major disruptions" from July to December 2014. It's not clear what the qualification "including where an emergency timetable has been implemented" is meant to convey. Perhaps just the new timetable for the last two weeks of the month?
In the penultimate entry for 3 October 2014 the "loss" of radio communication between ARDLUI and Tain is not surprising - unless they mean Ardgay!