This report provides Members with information on Points North-North Highland Lines performance and progress following the seminar HITRANS hosted in March.
Network Rail has all disciplines working on ways to decrease NHL journey time and improve performance. A list of 28 projects has been drawn up, with short, medium and longterm timescales.
To date only a speed increase at Nigg has been implemented, resulting in a 10 second saving in the northbound direction and 5 seconds in the southbound. Chapelton Level Crossing near Muir of Ord regrettably remains a critical Temporary Speed Restriction, despite the installation of new equipment.
Recent performance and reliability has been poor, largely but not wholly due to driver shortages. A snapshot from early July bears this out:
01 July 2H62 1234 Wck- Inv cancelled; 2H65 1828 Inv-Wck terminated at Lairg
02 July 2H62 1234 Wck-Inv cancelled; 2H65 1828 Inv-Wck skipped Thurso
03 July 2H58 0628 Lrg-Inv cancelled
04 July 2H60 0618 Wck-Inv cancelled. Started from Lairg; 2H61 0702 Inv-Wck terminated at Lairg
05 July 2H62 1158 Wck-Inv cancelled (no bus repl?); 2H95, 2H92, 2H63, 2H60, 2H93, 2H90, Invernets, all replaced by buses; 2H65 1754 Inv-Wck terminated at Lairg
08 July 2H54 0616 Ard-Inv cancelled; 2H71, 2H70, 1142 Inv-Din and return cancelled
08 July 2H65 1828 Inv-Wck terminated - Lairg no crew
09 July 2H60 0618 Wck-Inv started Lairg 'animals on line' using up bandwith no doubt
For your info here are the details of a colleague's return journey from Lairg 1512 to Inverness Wednesday 01 July 15:
Driver of Coach in ScotRail livery came into HITRANS office to check if route and email sent through to him was correct
Footfall figures to March 2015 indicate patronage falling on average 11%, with Dingwall at 15% as passengers switch to more reliable modes. Conon Bridge and Beauly are sometimes missed to enable trains to regain time.
We have taken this up to the highest level and have an agreement from Phil Verster MD Network Rail/Abellio ScotRail Alliance to travel with us to Wick in November to see the problems at first hand and to meet stakeholders affected.
We will then run a repeat of the Points North seminar later this year to ensure wide dissemination of problems and progress.
1. Members are asked to note the report.