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

Four Minutes More

Invernet Commuters north of Dingwall were delighted to discover that with effect from December 8th the new timetable allows them to spend another four minutes in the company of First ScotRail (FSR). Commuters have had to make what might seem a relatively minor adjustment to their bodyclocks to ensure they arrive on cold dark wintry train platforms four minutes earlier than previously required in the knowledge that this sacrifice would not make any difference to their time of arrival in Inverness and that if they lived in Dingwall or points south no such adjustment would be required.

The refinement in the timetable was lost on many of the commuters in the week of its introduction resulting in displays of athletic prowess or embarrassment. The fitter commuters bounded on the train with comments such as "a bit sharp this morning". The less fit were left standing looking shocked and dismayed as the train headed off into the dark without them.

The more organised amongst you will of course say it is the individual commuter's responsibility to check for any changes in the timetable and they should not have been so foolish as to presume there would be no change. Indeed, in terms of probability it was quite likely that the train would be earlier as when the service was initiated it started 15 minutes later than its present timing and has been creeping back ever since. The writer of this article of course agrees entirely with the wisdom of checking the timetable but spare a kind thought for those less efficient who had hoped that such a subtle timeshift might have been brought to their attention by a kindly member of FSR's staff.

Invernet commuters have been much happier of late with the improvements in the reliability of the morning service under FSR but commuters continue to dream of a quicker service which leaves later and arrives at the same time.

Anne Sutherland