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

Railway Centenaries

Several of our Highland Lines have been or soon will be celebrating their centenaries.

The opening of the last stretch of the Kyle Line, from Strome Ferry to Kyle of Lochalsh, was well marked last year by the successful excursions organised by the Friends of the Kyle Line, the West Coast Railway Company, Railtrack and ScotRail. This year there will be a display commemorating that Centenary, by the National Railway Museum and ScotRail, in the Highland Council's Museum in Bridge Street, Inverness from 20th June to 22nd July.

In the gallery of the same Museum, from 7th to 27th September, there is to be an exhibition to mark the Centenary of the opening of the Direct Line from Inverness to Aviemore via Carr Bridge in 1898. This is being organised by a local group (including Frank Spaven of FOFNL), with the ready help of the Museum Curator, the Highland Council Archivist, the National Railway Museum, the Scottish Record Office and Railtrack. It is hoped to show some early and recent photographs of traffic on landmarks of the Line such as viaducts, and contributions are invited.

A central feature will be an operating model of the Highland Railway in Gauge 1, part of the unique collection constructed by the late James Kennedy of Inverness.

To commemorate the same Centenary, there is to be a steam shuttle service between Inverness and Aviemore on Saturday 17th October, of which there will be more news later.

As some members will recall, the Far North Line celebrated its Centenary in 1974; maybe we shall mark the 125th Anniversary next year! It is hoped to stage a National Railway Museum Photographic Exhibition locally, the naming of a diesel locomotive, and possibly a special train. But, guess what? There doesn't appear to be a spare 125 anywhere in the country to use on the Far North line!

Contributed by Frank Spaven