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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

First ScotRail hits the right note with sponsorship of Royal Scottish National Orchestra

First ScotRail - Scotland's national train operator - and the Royal Scottish National Orchestra (RSNO) - Scotland's largest arts organisation - has forged a high profile partnership to promote sustainable transport - and encourage more people to travel by train.

The 12 month partnership, which was launched at Glasgow Queen Street Station, is highlighted by First ScotRail's provision of travel passes on key routes across the country. From now on, over 50 musicians from the celebrated orchestra can leave their cars at home and travel to rehearsals and concerts by train.

The in kind support will see the RSNO save more than just petrol money - it will help the environment and allow the members to focus more on their music and less on travelling costs. In return, First ScotRail will receive complimentary tickets for a number of shows from this year's calendar, including family favourite 'The Snowman'.

Peter Williams, Commercial Director at First ScotRail said, "This sponsorship reflects out ongoing commitment to the arts, music and culture in Scotland, as well as our drive to encourage more people to choose rail as their preferred mode of public transport.

"The RSNO has performances across Scotland and with services running throughout the country, there are plenty of opportunities for families and friends to travel by train and enjoy a fantastic day - or night - out.

RSNO Chief Executive Simon Woods said: "We are most grateful to First ScotRail for their support of our work, taking music right across Scotland and we look forward to a very fruitful partnership."

"As Scotland's national orchestra we naturally travel an enormous amount, so a partnership with First ScotRail is highly appropriate for us. With the environment and rising petrol prices in the forefront of people's minds at present, this is a very timely relationship indeed.

Ian Budd, FoFNL member and our webmaster is a viola player with the orchestra and had this to say "The ScotRail sponsorship is ongoing and extremely well-received by the orchestra. We can all use it if we wish for trips such as Inverness or Aberdeen. It works much better than the party ticket system we were using because we now do not all have to use the same train - an advantage for ScotRail too I expect. There may be some limit on how many of us can travel since the orchestra has about 85 members and that would cause problems."