On 9th September HITRANS issued a press release giving details of its Branchliner initiative. In the next 10-15 years it is estimated that 4 million tonnes of standing and fallen timber will be exported from the Flow Country catchment to distant markets.
A key element of the project is the upgrading of railway sidings at Kinbrace on the Far North Line and Inverness. It is seen as vital to use the rail system wherever possible for economic, environmental and safety reasons.
The first phase will be an investigative study leading, it is hoped, to a demonstrator project to try timber deliveries by rail.
The Strategic Timber Transport Scheme and Forestry Commission Scotland have assisted with funding for the study.