scotland (4K)
The Friends of the Far North Line
Cairdean Na Loine Tuath
the campaign group for rail north of Inverness - lobbying for improved services for the local user, tourist and freight operator

Facing Points

Orkney Dis-Connection?

In a letter to me, FoFNL member and personal friend Wright Atkinson, of Longhope in Orkney, writes: "The latest Northlink ferries schedule seems to herald the virtual abandonment of a (passenger) rail connection with the Orkney traffic and I wonder if FoFNL has taken this on board?"

See page 14 for our Chairman's account of this situation. Wright expands on his thoughts on the suggested timetable and feels that it "effectively hands over passenger traffic to Citilink - that is if Citilink decides to revise its Scrabster pick-up times. The FNL has served Orkney for many a year and surely there should be retained at least one reasonably timed connection to and from Inverness per day."

Use Your Trains

You hardly need reminding that Scottish winters tend to be rather more protracted than south of the Border. On the long stretches of single line conditions can be bleak indeed, and our local staff sometimes operate in diabolical weather conditions with unfailing good cheer, while it is well worth bearing in mind the reputation enjoyed by the railway, even at times in the face of problems and unavoidable delays, of Getting You There.

We urge members to use the railway whenever practicable, but most of all in winter; for one thing it spares you the strain of coping with such hazards as freezing fog, drifting snow. black ice and on occasion inadequately gritted roads. Personally - spoilt, I freely confess, by living virtually 'on the platform' - I prefer to leave travel responsibility to an experienced driver and guard, ably assisted by the trolley service!

Keith Tyler